WASHINGTON – A federal appeals court has revived claims that Exxon Mobil Corp. should be held accountable in U.S. courts for human rights abuses allegedly committed by Indonesian troops guarding an Exxon natural gas facility.
A panel of the federal appeals court in Washington ruled 2-1 Friday in favor of Indonesian villagers in Aceh province who want to sue the energy giant. The case is based on an 18th century law that is increasingly being used to sue corporations for alleged human rights abuses overseas.
The court rejected Exxon's argument that corporations may not be sued under the Alien Tort Statute. Last year, in a case against Royal Dutch Shell, another panel of federal appellate judges in New York said the law does not apply to corporations.