Court: Apartheid suits vs. companies in US barred

AP News
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Posted: Aug 21, 2013 11:39 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — A federal appeals court in New York says three companies cannot be held liable in the U.S. for abuses suffered under South Africa's apartheid government.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Wednesday that claims that subsidiaries of the companies sold cars and computers to the South African government must be rejected. The Manhattan court left it to a lower court to formally toss the claims.

Lawsuits sought to hold Daimler AG, Ford Motor Co. and IBM Corp. responsible for race-based injustices including rape, torture and murder.

The appeals court based its ruling on a recent Supreme Court decision pertaining to a law used to hold defendants liable for crimes against humanity. It concluded that federal courts may not recognize common-law claims for conduct in another nation's territory.