Friday, March 31, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

9th Circuit Ends Daimler Worker’s Dirty War Suit

(CN) - Following a reversal by the Supreme Court, the 9th Circuit ruled Friday that former workers and their relatives cannot sue Daimler in California for its alleged complicity in Argentina's Dirty War.

The federal appeals court in San Francisco in 2011 revived human-rights claims made by 22 former workers at Mercedes-Benz Argentina's Gonzalez-Catan plant.

The former workers and their relatives alleged that the company, now called Daimler AG, collaborated with state security forces to kidnap, detain, torture and murder employees after the 1976 military coup that ousted President Isabel Peron.

The three-judge appellate panel found that Germany-based Daimler had to answer for the claims in California District Court because the company owned a Mercedes-Benz USA subsidiary.

Reversing on January 14, the high court called such reasoning an "uninhibited approach to personal jurisdiction"

"Considerations of international rapport thus reinforce our determination that sub­jecting Daimler to the general jurisdiction of courts in California would not accord with the 'fair play and sub­stantial justice' due process demands," Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote for the court.

In a brief order published Friday, the 9th Circuit reversed itself and affirmed the District Court's grant of summary judgment to Daimler.

Read the Top 8

Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.