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Doe I v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
572 F.3d 677 (2009)


Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (Wal-Mart) (defendant) required its international suppliers to agree to follow Wal-Mart’s work-conditions standards policy under the suppliers’ contracts with Wal-Mart. The agreement with suppliers gave Wal-Mart the right to inspect the overseas facilities of suppliers and penalize suppliers for violating the policy. The purpose of the policy was to maintain work conditions and human rights in countries that would not otherwise protect workers. A group of Wal-Mart suppliers’ employees from various countries (plaintiffs) sued Wal-Mart in the United States, alleging that Wal-Mart failed to ensure that suppliers provided proper work conditions. Among other claims, the plaintiffs sued for breach of contract as third-party beneficiaries of the contract between Wal-Mart and its suppliers, as employees of Wal-Mart directly, and for unjust enrichment. The district court dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim. The plaintiffs appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Gould, J.)

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