The Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday in a case accusing the German automaker (back then DaimlerChrysler Ag) of collaborating to have left-wing sympathizers tortured or killed during Argentina’s Dirty War.
Mercedes-Benz in Argentina, then a subsidiary of Daimler-Benz AG, allegedly notified the Argentinean government of plant-workers that were subversive to the government in the 70s and 80s; when a military dictatorship in Argentina kidnapped, tortured, and murdered almost 30,000 “subversives,” notably labor union members and organizers.
A group of 22 survivors and heirs, all either Argentinean citizens or residents, sued DaimlerChrysler AG in California in 2005 under the Alien Tort Statute, which lets people sue foreign companies for human rights violations in U.S. courts. They allege the company knew the Argentinean government would kidnap, torture, and murder these workers, thus silencing union activists.
Their case has to have some connection to the U.S. in order for their lawsuit in California to survive. When the suit was filed, Daimler Benz AG, a German corporation, had merged with the American Chrysler Corporation to form DCAG. Therefore, a California court initially ruled DCAG maintained “dual operational headquarters” in Germany and Detroit, Michigan, according to the opinion. The company also fully owns its American subsidiary, Mercedes Benz USA, which does business often in California. Therefore, the German owned DCAG, maintained “systematic and continuous contact” with the state, according to the court’s opinion.
Via Business Insider
) - Wednesday, October 16th, 2013 - filed under News
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