Analysis: Litigation & Chiquita
This case study deals primarily with the issue of litigation. The case study focuses especially on litigation concerned with U.S. companies being held accountable in U.S. courts for their actions and influences in foreign countries. The main company highlighted within the case study is Chiquita, the largest employer of banana workers in Latin America. This analysis will dive deeper into the actual issue of litigation and will focus on the Alien Tort Statute (also called the Alien Tort Claims Act [ATCA]), which was a part of the Judiciary Act of 1789. The issue of accountability and the analysis of multiple cases including Chiquita will be discussed in relevancy to litigation and the ATCA. Finally, the CSR issues dealing with the ACTA, along with the effects that this issue can have on all of a company’s stakeholders will be examined. The Issue:
Before one can understand the CSR issues within the case, they must have a decent background of the ATCA. According to Chapter 28 of the United States Code, Part IV, Chapter 85, Section 1350, “The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of any civil action by an alien for a tort only, committed in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States.” In other words, U.S. companies can be held liable in U.S. courts for their actions and operations in foreign countries. Although the ATCA was initially intended for torts such as piracy, violations of safe conduct, and the interference of ambassadors, it has recently become much more relevant with the actions of large corporations. An example would be the 2000 case of Wiwa v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co. According to Harvard Law (http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/torts3y/readings/update-a-02.html), Shell Oil (namely Shell Nigeria) was accused of being involved with the murders of several Nigerians, along with the famous author, Ken Saro Wiwa. These murders were a result of disagreements over Shell wanting to start...
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