Court throws out Chiquita terror payment claims

Court gavel
Posted at 2:49 PM, Jul 24, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-24 14:49:00-04

MIAMI (AP) - A divided federal appeals court has thrown out claims against produce giant Chiquita Brands International made by thousands of Colombians killed during years of bloody civil war.

A panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that federal courts have no jurisdiction over the Colombian claims. The lawsuits accused Chiquita of assisting in the killings by paying $1.7 million to a right-wing paramilitary group. Chiquita formerly operated large banana plantations in Colombia.

The majority cited a 2013 U.S. Supreme Court ruling imposing limits on attempts by foreigners to use U.S. courts to seek damages for human rights abuses abroad.

Chiquita praised the ruling in a written statement. Attorneys for the estimated 4,000 Colombians may ask the full 11th Circuit or the Supreme Court to consider the case.

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7/24/2014 2:46:57 PM (GMT -4:00)