Ninth Circuit Addresses Emerging Issues in ATS Litigation
By JAMES E. BERGER & CHARLENE C. SUN
In recent years, plaintiffs have increasingly sought to bring claims against multinational corporations under the Alien Tort Statute for "aiding and abetting" alleged violations of international law committed by foreign governments. The recent proliferation of these cases, coupled with the lack of a well-developed body of law to guide courts in determining the proper scope of jurisdiction and liability under the ATS, has led to inconsistent rulings in U.S. courts, and ATS claims continue to be extraordinarily time-consuming and expensive to litigate. This alert, our latest summarizing decisions under the ATS, discusses the Ninth Circuit's recent en banc decision in Sarei v. Rio Tinto, a case that considered several fundamental issues that will continue to arise in ATS claims brought against private corporations.