US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Opinions
Adams v. Alcolac, Inc.
Opinion Date: September 8, 2020
Judge: Per Curiam
Areas of Law: Personal Injury
Plaintiffs, primarily former U.S. military personnel who were injured by Saddam Hussein's use of mustard gas during the Gulf War, seek to hold Alcolac, Inc. liable for these injuries because, they allege, it illegally provided the government of Iraq with thiodiglycol, which was then used to create mustard gas. Plaintiffs' claims have been foreclosed in previous litigation except for two: (1) a claim under the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) and (2) a civil-conspiracy claim under Texas law. The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to Alcolac, holding that the first claim fails because JASTA does not provide a cause of action for injuries caused by acts of war. Furthermore, the civil-conspiracy claim fails because plaintiffs have not demonstrated that Alcolac or anyone else committed a tort in furtherance of the alleged conspiracy. The court explained that, because plaintiffs' JASTA and civil-conspiracy claims fail, they do not have valid underlying claims. Therefore, their Texas Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act claims also fail.
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