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In re Union Carbide Gas Plant Disaster at Bhopal, India in December 1984
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
634 F.Supp. 842 (1986)
Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) operated a pesticide plant in Bhopal, India. A gas leak at the plant killed more than 2,000 people in the surrounding area and caused hundreds of thousands of injuries. Victims of the leak (plaintiffs), none of whom were United States citizens, filed more than 100 lawsuits in seven federal district courts against Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) (defendant), an American company that owned a controlling share of UCIL stock. The lawsuits were consolidated in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. UCC moved to dismiss the lawsuits pursuant to the doctrine of forum non conveniens. The victims opposed the motion, arguing that any judgment awarded by an Indian court against UCC would be prohibitively difficult to enforce in the United States. The victims further argued that India recognized res judicata with respect to foreign-court judgments, making it easy to enforce a United States judgment against UCC in India.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Keenan, J.)
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