Justia Corporate Compliance Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in International Law
Villanueva v. U.S. Dept. of Labor
Petitioner filed a complaint with OSHA, asserting that Saybolt and Core Labs had violated Section 806 of the Corporate and Criminal Fraud Accountability Act of 2002, Title VIII of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, 18 U.S.C. 1514A(a), by retaliating against him for blowing the whistle on an alleged scheme to violate Colombian tax law. OSHA, an ALJ, and the Board all rejected petitioner's complaint. The court concluded that petitioner did not demonstrate that he engaged in protected conduct because he did not complain, based on a reasonable belief, that one of six enumerated categories of U.S. law had been violated. Petitioner had not demonstrated that he engaged in any protected activity, and given this, the court could not say that Core Labs knew that petitioner engaged in a protected activity that was a contributing factor in the unfavorable actions of withholding petitioner's pay raise and ultimately terminating him. Accordingly, the court affirmed the Board's dismissal of petitioner's complaint because he had not demonstrated that his claim fell within the scope of section 806. View "Villanueva v. U.S. Dept. of Labor" on Justia Law
Ad Hoc Group of Vitro Noteholders v. Vitro S.A.B. de C.V.
Three cases related to the Mexican reorganization of Vitro S.A.B. de C.V., a corporation organized under the laws of Mexico, were consolidated before the court. The Ad Hoc Group of Vitro Noteholders, a group of creditors holding a substantial amount of Vitro's debt, appealed from the district court's decision affirming the bankruptcy court's recognition of the Mexican reorganization proceeding and Vitro's appointed foreign representatives under Chapter 15 of the Bankruptcy Code. Vitro and one of its largest third-party creditors each appealed directly to the court the bankruptcy court's decision denying enforcement of the Mexican reorganization plan because the plan would extinguish the obligations of non-debtor guarantors. The court affirmed in all respects the judgment of the district court affirming the order of the bankruptcy court in No. 12-10542, and the court affirmed the order of the bankruptcy court in Nos. 12-0689 and 12-10750. The temporary restraining order originally entered by the bankruptcy court, the expiration of which was stayed by the court, was vacated, effective with the issuance of the court's mandate in Nos. 12-10689 and 12-10750. View "Ad Hoc Group of Vitro Noteholders v. Vitro S.A.B. de C.V." on Justia Law
Bigio v. The Coca-Cola Co.
Plaintiffs appealed from a judgment of the district court granting defendants' motion to dismiss and denying as moot plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment on liability. The District Court held that plaintiffs failed to state a claim, under a variety of theories, based on defendants' purchase and possession of an interest in the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Egypt. The court concluded that the facts alleged in plaintiffs' Amended Complaint, if true, told a tragic story of religious discrimination in Egypt in the 1960s and the court understood the desire for compensation. However, that wrong, if it did indeed occur, was inflicted by the Egyptian government, not by defendants. Because the district court correctly determined that the Amended Complaint failed to state a claim against defendants and also therefore correctly denied plaintiffs' motion for partial summary judgment as moot, the judgment of the district court was affirmed. View "Bigio v. The Coca-Cola Co." on Justia Law
McKesson Corp., et al. v. Islamic Republic of Iran
McKesson, a United States company, claimed that after the Islamic Revolution, the government of Iran expropriated McKesson's interest in an Iranian dairy (Pak Dairy) and withheld its dividend payments. McKesson filed its complaint in 1982, the case reached the court on five prior occasions, and was remanded by the court for numerous trials by the district court. At issue was whether the court had jurisdiction over McKesson's claim and whether any recognized body of law provided McKesson with a private right of action against Iran. The court affirmed the district court's holding that the act of state doctrine did not apply in this case. While the court reversed the district court's holding that McKesson could base its claim on customary international law, the court affirmed the district court's alternative holding that the Treaty of Amity, construed as Iranian law, provided McKesson with a private right of action, and the court further affirmed the district court's finding that Iran was liable for the expropriation of McKesson's equity interest in Pak Dairy and the withholding of McKesson's dividend payments. Finally, the court reversed the district court's award of compound interest and remanded for calculation of an award consisting of the value of McKesson's expropriated property and withheld dividends plus simple interest. View "McKesson Corp., et al. v. Islamic Republic of Iran" on Justia Law
Sagarra Inversiones, S.L., v. Cementos Portland Valderrivas, S.A., et al.
Sagarra, a Spanish corporation, was a minority shareholder of Uniland, also a Spanish corporation. Sagarra brought a Court of Chancery action to rescind the sale, by CPV, of Giant, to Uniland. CPV was the controlling stockholder of both Giant and Uniland. Sagarra purported to sue derivatively on behalf of a wholly-owned Delaware subsidiary of Uniland, UAC, which was specifically created as the vehicle to acquire Giant. Defendants moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground that Sagarra lacked standing to enforce a claim on behalf of UAC. The Court of Chancery held that Sagarra's standing to sue was governed by Spanish law, because Uniland - the only entity in which Sagarra owned stock - was incorporated in Spain. The court upheld the Court of Chancery's reasoning and judgment because Sagarra failed to satisfy the demand requirements of Spanish law. View "Sagarra Inversiones, S.L., v. Cementos Portland Valderrivas, S.A., et al." on Justia Law
John Doe VIII, et al. v. Exxon Mobil Corp., et al.
This case stemmed from a contract between the Indonesian government and the Exxon Mobil Corporation (Exxon), a United States corporation, and several of its wholly owned subsidiaries where Exxon operated a large natural gas extraction and processing facility in the Aceh province. Plaintiffs were fifteen Indonesian villagers. Eleven villagers filed a complaint in 2001 alleging that Exxon's security forces committed murder, torture, sexual assault, battery, and false imprisonment in violation of the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) and the Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA), 28 U.S.C. 1350, and various common law torts. Four villagers alleged that in 2007, Exxon committed various common law torts. All plaintiffs alleged that Exxon took actions both in the United States and at its facility in the Aceh province that resulted in their injuries. Plaintiffs challenged the subsequent dismissal of their claims and Exxon filed a cross-appeal, inter alia, raising corporate immunity for the first time. The court concluded that aiding and abetting liability was well established under the ATS. The court further concluded that neither the text, history, nor purpose of the ATS supported corporate immunity for torts based on heinous conduct allegedly committed by its agents in violation of the law of nations. The court affirmed the dismissal of the TVPA claims in view of recent precedent of the court. The court concluded, however, that Exxon's objections to justiciability were unpersuasive and that the district court erred in ruling that plaintiffs lacked prudential standing to bring their non-federal tort claims and in the choice of law determination. The court finally concluded that Exxon's challenge to the diversity of parties in the complaint at issue was to be resolved initially by the district court. Therefore, the court affirmed the dismissal of plaintiffs' TVPA claims, reversed the dismissal of the ATS claims at issue, along with plaintiffs' non-federal tort claims, and remanded the cases to the district court. View "John Doe VIII, et al. v. Exxon Mobil Corp., et al." on Justia Law