Case of the Day: Francisco S. v. Aetna

The case of the day is Francisco S. v. Aetna Life Insurance Co. (D. Utah 2020). Francisco S. was an employee of the World Bank. The Bank provided him with health benefits under a self-funded employee benefits plan. Aetna was the third-party administrator. Aetna denied a claim submitted for Francisco’s daughter, and Francisco sued Aetna and the World Bank plan. (more…)

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Case of the Day: Jam v. International Finance Corp.

The case of the day is Jam v. International Finance Corp. (S. Ct. 2019). I wrote about the lower court decision back in June 2017. The claim was that the IFC, an international organization headquartered in Washington, had made loans to an Indian power company for construction of a coal-fired power plant in Gujarat, but that it had negligently failed to supervise the project. Local farmers and fishermen, and a local village, sued IFC in Washington on common law tort theories. The IFC moved to dismiss on the grounds that it was immune from suit under the International Organizations Immunities Act. The District Court and the D.C. Circuit held that IFC was indeed immune from suit, and the plaintiffs sought review in the Supreme Court. (more…)

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Case to Watch: Jam v. International Finance Corp.

The Supreme Court heard argument yesterday in Jam v. International Finance Corp. I wrote about the case last year. The issue in the case is simple. Under DC Circuit precedent construing the International Organizations Immunities Act, international organizations have immunity from suit to the same extent that foreign sovereigns had it in 1945, at the time of the enactment of the IOIA. Should the statute instead be construed to mean that international organizations have immunity from suit to the same extent that foreign sovereign have it today? In practice, the question seems to be: should international organizations be immune from suit for their commercial activities in the United States? (more…)

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Jared Hubbard on the Texas Loophole

I’m happy to welcome new commenter Jared Hubbard to Letters Blogatory! Jared has a practice in Newburyport, and before that was most recently an associate with White & Case. He knows whereof he writes, because he’s admitted to practice in Texas, and he was counsel to OPEC in the Freedom Watch case, which I’ve covered before. Welcome, Jared!

One of the recent cases of the day, Chukapalli v. Mandava (Tex. Ct. App. 2017), raised an interesting loophole to international service requirements. In that case, the court reversed a default judgment as the plaintiff had not complied with the Hague Service Convention, but on remand no compliant service was required due to Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 123, which provides:
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Case of the Day: Jam v. International Finance Corp.

The case of the day is Jam v. International Finance Corp. (D.C. Cir. 2017). Budha Ismail Jam and the other plaintiffs were fishermen and farmers who lived near Gujarat, India. Tata Power, an Indian utility company, built the Tata Mundra Power Plant nearby. The project was financed with a $450 million loan from the IFC, an international organization based in Washington. The claim was that the IFC had allowed the project to go forward even though the plant did not do everything it was supposed to do to limit social and environmental damage. The plaintiffs said that the power plant had devastated their way of life. They sued in Washington, and the IFC moved to dismiss on the grounds of immunity from suit under the International Organizations Immunities Act.
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Case of the Day: Georges v. United Nations

The case of the day is Georges v. United Nations (S.D.N.Y. 2015). I first wrote about the case in December 2013, and then again in March 2014. The case is a putative class action by Haitians against the United Nations, the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti, and two UN officials, Secretary-General Ban and former Under-Secretary-General Edmond Mulet. The claim was that the defendants are liable for the injuries caused by the cholera epidemic in Haiti. It seems that UN troops introduced the disease to Haiti, which had previously been free of cholera.

The plaintiffs sought to deliver the summons and complaint to UN officials at the UN headquarters in New York but were refused entry. They also sent the summons and complaint to the UN by certified mail and by fax and now have moved for an order deeming service to have been effectuated or, in the alternative, seeking leave to serve process by mail or fax. I thought this was a pretty easy call—in the prior posts I opined that the defendants were immune from suit and that the plaintiffs had failed to effect service of process.
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