Justices Raise Bar for Suing Foreign Companies

The New York Times BUSINESS Wednesday, January 18, 2014

Justices Raise Bar for Suing Foreign Companies, by Ada Liptak

WASHINGTON–” The Supreme Court on Tuesday made it harder to sue foreign companies in American Courts…”

The case contended that Daimler (AG) committed abuses during Argentina’s so-called Dirty War.  Twenty-two residents of Argentina stating that “Daimler’s Argentine subsidiary had collaborated with state security services in killing, torture and other abuses, sued Daimler in California.  The suit was proper there, the plaintiffs said, in light of business conducted in the state by an American subsidiary of Daimler that was incorporated in Delaware.”

The Supreme Court unanimously rejected the plaintiff’s contention, eight justices stating that the “link between what happened in Argentina and Daimler’s connection to California was too slender…”

The ninth justice,  Justice Sotomayor, in a concurrence with the other eight, said, however, that the analysis was, ‘wholly foreign to our due process analysis.’  She also added ‘that it (the decision) will shift the risk of loss from multi-national corporations to the individuals harmed by their action.”

Justice Ginsburg, who wrote for the eight, stated “Justice Sotomayor favors a resolution for this day and case only.”

Raising the bar or it’s opposite, lowering the bar, are track and field idioms from, for example, the high jump and the hurdles.  The higher the bar, the more difficult the event is;  lowering the bar makes the event easier.



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