Thursday, March 28, 2002

Suit seeks billions in slave reparations

CNN reports that a former law student, who discovered evidence linking U.S. corporations to the slave trade, filed a federal lawsuit
in Brooklyn against these corporations for conspiracy, human rights violations, unjust enrichment from their corporate predecessors' roles in the slave trade and conversion of the value of the slaves' labor into their profits. The suit names FleetBoston Financial, the railroad firm CSX and the Aetna insurance company, and promises to name up to 100 additional corporations at a later date.
"These are corporations that benefited from stealing people, from stealing labor, from forced breeding, from torture, from committing numerous horrendous acts, and there's no reason why they should be able to hold onto assets they acquired through such horrendous acts," said Deadria Farmer-Paellmann, the main plaintiff in the lawsuit. Full text here.

Deadria Farmer-Paellmann: A case for overlawyered?

Is this case for Or is justice finally catching up after a couple of hundred years of delay? According to CNN, in response to the lawsuit, Aetna released a statement saying, "We do not believe a court would permit a lawsuit over events which -- however regrettable -- occurred hundreds of years ago. These issues in no way reflect Aetna today." For sure, the defense of prescription will be invoked -- that is, the cause action has already expired due to the lapse of time. And corporate lawyer that I am, I suppose this is the book solution to this case. However, this can hardly be classified as another case for the books. It involves the entire Amercian history, psyche and nationhood and a very insensitive treatment of this case can lead to riots like those which characterized the Rodney King trials.

No comments: