Exxon Seeks Dismissal of Alien Tort Case Originating in Indonesia
February 2, 2011, Mike Scarcella, The National Journal
Lawyers for Exxon Mobil Corp. want a federal appeals court in Washington to absolve it from any liability stemming from human rights allegations that its security force -- foreign government soldiers hired to protect personnel and facilities -- brutalized a group of villagers in Indonesia.
"One of the biggest problems with these lawsuits is they are massive fishing expeditions and extremely burdensome," said Mark Stancil, a Robbins, Russell, Englert, Orseck, Untereiner & Sauber appellate litigation partner in Washington who filed a brief for the chamber. "While few have been successful, they are a huge deterrent to companies wanting to do business overseas and impose burdens on corporations that are doing business overseas."
Stancil and Robbins Russell name partner Alan Untereiner said the suit against Exxon highlights the "tremendous" discovery and trial costs and the potential for "coerced" settlements. The chamber, the lawyers said in court papers, took no position on the underlying factual allegations.