NFTC, USA*Engage Applaud 11th Circuit Court's Decision in Sinaltrainal Alien Tort Case"

Wednesday, 12 August 2009
Washington, DC – The National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) and USA*Engage today welcomed a decision issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, dismissing Sinaltrainal, et al. v. the Coca-Cola Company, et al., a case in which plaintiffs, who were trade union organizers, brought suit against two bottling companies in Colombia under the Alien Tort Statute. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants, which included the Coca-Cola Company, aided and abetted Colombian paramilitary forces' crimes against humanity.
“We applaud the 11th Circuit Court's unanimous decision to uphold the District Court for the Southern District of Florida's dismissal of the case,” said NFTC President and USA*Engage Co-Chair Bill Reinsch. “Numerous cases have been brought by plaintiffs against U.S. and foreign multinational companies under the Alien Tort Statute, when companies have in fact acted lawfully. This decision has added the Circuit Court's voice to the growing body of jurisprudence that limits the liability of private companies for the actions of governments in whose territory they have operations.”
The NFTC and USA*Engage have long been active in opposing expansive use of aiding and abetting in alien tort cases and have filed amicus briefs in several such cases including this one.