SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Tuesday revived a human rights suit against mining company Rio Tinto and held the Alien Tort Statute doesn’t shield corporations from liability for violations of international law.
The splintered court’s en banc opinion in Sarei v. Rio Tinto, 02-56256, comes a decade after residents of Bougainville sued Rio Tinto in federal court, claiming the British company worked with the government of Papua New Guinea to kill 10,000 people in retaliation for an uprising of natives that had forced a mine to close.
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