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US Supreme Court orders reconsideration of Rio Tinto lawsuit

BY BRENT KENDALL

WASHINGTON -- The United States Supreme Court has ordered a lower court to reconsider a ruling that allowed a lawsuit against Rio Tinto for alleged human rights abuses.

The justices, in a short written order, told a San Francisco based federal appeals court to rethink the case in light of the Supreme Court' s ruling last week that sharply restricted the ability of United States courts to hear cases involving allegations of human-rights abuses abroad.

Last week' s decision tossed out a lawsuit by a group of Nigerians who alleged Shell was complicit in abuses in the African nation. Shell denied the allegations.

In the Rio Tinto case, plaintiffs alleged the mining company aided abuses by the government of Papua New Guinea in the 1990s. The company has denied the allegations.

The Ninth United States Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that United States federal courts could consider the Rio Tinto case even though the alleged conduct took place abroad. Last week' s Supreme Court ruling cast doubt on that decision.

Dow Jones Newswires

04/22/2013

 

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