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Torres v. Southern Peru Copper Corp.

ELR Citation: 27 ELR 21157
Nos. 96-40203, 113 F.3d 540/(5th Cir., 05/19/1997)

The court holds that a district court properly dismissed a class action brought by Peruvian citizens alleging injuries from a U.S. corporation's copper smelting and refining operations in Peru. The court first holds that the district court had federal question jurisdiction because the complaint raises substantial questions of federal common law by implicating important foreign policy concerns. The district court erred, however, in holding that because the corporation was a citizen of Peru, it lacked diversity jurisdiction. The court holds that the corporation is a citizen only of its place of incorporation, the state of Delaware. For diversity purposes, a corporation incorporated in the United States with its principal place of business abroad is solely a citizen of its state of incorporation. Thus, the district court in Texas had diversity jurisdiction over the case. The court then holds that the record reflects neither error nor abuse of discretion in the district court's dismissal of the action on the basis of forum non conveniens and comity among nations.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Andrew Schirrmeister III
Zummo & Schirmeister
2603 Augusta, Ste. 1200, Houston TX 77057
(713) 781-0771

Counsel for Defendants
Peter J. Nickles
Covington & Burling
1201 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington DC 20044
(202) 662-6000

Before POLITZ, Chief Judge, and WIENER and STEWART, Circuit Judges.