Justices Seem Poised To Increase Cos.' Liability Overseas
By Douglas Hallward-Driemeier, Jonathan Ference-Burke and Jane Tomic (February 27, 2020, 4:54 PM EST) -- For corporations that are increasingly targets of lawsuits seeking to impose retroactive liability for their overseas activities, the Feb. 24 oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court in Opati v. Sudan suggests the case may prove another example of the adage that bad facts make bad law.
The case concerns whether a 2008 amendment to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, or FSIA, applies retroactively to permit the recovery of punitive damages in claims against foreign states for terrorist activities that occurred prior to the amendment's passage. The defendant in the case, the Republic of Sudan, is hardly sympathetic.
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