Second Circuit Allows Human Rights Claims to Proceed Against Corporations
October 17, 2007
On October 17, 2007, the New York office authored an Alert Memorandum entitled "Second Circuit Allows Human Rights Claims to Proceed Against Corporations." On October 12, 2007, the Second Circuit issued a decision that should be of great interest to global corporations doing business around the world, including in countries with questionable human rights records. Specifically, the Court of Appeals expanded the scope of liability under the Alien Tort Claims Act ("ATCA") by holding that companies may be liable for aiding and abetting violations of international law. A splintered majority held on separate grounds that plaintiffs may go forward with their ATCA claims based on allegations that the defendant corporations did business with and in South Africa during the apartheid era.