Embassy Law Web Log   
Washington, DC, USA      

TVPA, ATS and Comity: No Case in the U.S.

An attack by the Columbian air force on a village led to a complaint in California, pitting villagers against two U.S. companies, but the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco rejected the case with an 88-page long set of opinions. In Mujica v. Airscan Inc., it examined claims under the Torture Victims Protection Act, the Alien Tort Statute and comity under Californian law. On November 12, 2014, the court published its decision and a dissenting opinion.

The TVPA claim fails under Mohamad v. Palestinian Authority because the defendants are corporations. The ATS claim fails under Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co.. Finally, the State Department's statement of interest sways the comity decision against proceedings in the United States. -- Clemens Kochinke, partner, Berliner Corcoran & Rowe LLP, Washington, DC.