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Dominican Republic v. AES Corporation
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
466 F. Supp. 2d 680 (2006)
The Dominican Republic (plaintiff), a foreign country, asserted several claims against AES Corporation (defendant), a Virginia corporation, including claims for (1) nuisance, (2) civil conspiracy to commit bribery and improper waste disposal, and (3) aiding and abetting bribery and improper waste disposal. The Dominican Republic’s claims were based on an alleged scheme by AES to dump hazardous coal ash in an unsafe manner in Dominican waters. The coal ash originated in Puerto Rico. As alleged, AES (1) hired a Florida company to perform the waste transportation from Puerto Rico to the Dominican Republic; (2) formed a conspiracy with various Dominican officials to improperly dispose of the coal ash, using bribery as needed; and (3) effectuated the transportation and dumping of 30,000 tons of coal ash, over the course of six months, in a Dominican beach area. Eleven beach residents were allegedly killed or seriously injured by the toxic coal ash, and there were harmful environmental effects. The Dominican Republic sued AES in Virginia district court because it did not believe its own country’s courts would be fair and impartial. The Dominican Republic sought compensation for environmental damages, healthcare costs, and economic damages from loss of tourism. AES filed a motion to dismiss, which required the court to determine whether the law of the Dominican Republic applied.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Lee, J.)
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