U.S. justices allow human rights lawsuit against Exxon to continue

By Chris Rizo | Jun 16, 2008

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline)-The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to stop a lawsuit against Exxon Mobil Corp. for human rights abuses in Indonesia.

The court's move is a victory for human rights advocates working on behalf of 11 villagers in Indonesia's Aceh province.

The lawsuit filed against the oil giant stemmed from allegations of violence by Indonesian soldiers Exxon hired for security at a natural gas processing plant.

The U.S. solicitor general urged the high court to deny the appeal. The high court released its decision with no comment.

The lawsuit filed in 2001 in Washington federal court claimed that Exxon's security forces at the plant were mostly members of the Indonesian military and that Exxon retained them even though the Indonesian army had in the past committed human rights atrocities.

In 2007, a federal appeals court upheld a district court judge's refusal to dismiss the lawsuit.

Irving, Texas-based Exxon argued the case raised questions outside the jurisdiction of U.S. courts. The company also argued it is not responsible for the conduct of the Indonesian military.

The case is Exxon Mobil v. Doe, 07-81.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo by e-mail at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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