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Torture Suits Against Companies Draw U.S. High Court Review

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to use a case involving units of Royal Dutch Shell Plc to consider whether corporations can be sued under federal laws that protect people in other countries from human rights abuses.

The justices today said they will hear two appeals on the issue, including one from a group of Nigerians who say two Shell units were complicit in torture and execution in the country’s Ogoni region from 1992 to 1995. A federal appeals court threw out the case, saying companies can’t be sued under the two-century-old Alien Tort Statute.