Appeals Court Declines to Revive Ford, IBM Apartheid Suit

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A federal appeals court declined to revive a lawsuit against Ford Motor Corp. and International Business Machines Corp. in which the companies were accused of aiding human rights abuses in South Africa decades ago.

The ruling may be the end of the line, after 13 years in U.S. courts, for a case in which victims sought compensation from companies and banks they claimed aided in crimes by the apartheid-era government.

A three-judge panel in New York ruled Monday the group of South African victims failed to show a connection between the crimes and the companies’ actions in the U.S. to let an American court handle the lawsuit.

The ruling upholds a 2014 decision by U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin in Manhattan dismissing the complaint against Ford and IBM. Scheindlin relied on a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that limited the scope of the 1789 Alien Tort Statute. It had been used to pursue lawsuits in the U.S. against companies abroad.

The case is Balintulo v. Ford Motor Co., 14-4104, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (Manhattan).

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