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Jam v. International Finance Corp.

ELR Citation: 50 ELR 20041
Nos. 15-612 (JDB), (D.D.C., 02/14/2020) (Bates, J.)

A district court held an international development bank that financed construction of a coal-fired power plant in India was immune from a suit brought by a group of Indian villagers claiming the plant polluted surrounding air, land, and water. The bank argued that the group could not sue it in federal court because the Federal Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) granted international organizations the same immunity from suit that it granted foreign governments. The group countered that the suit fell under the FSIA's commercial activity exception. The court concluded that the commercial activity exception did not apply because the group failed to establish that their suit was based upon conduct carried on or performed in the United States, and thus that the bank was immune from suit. It therefore granted the bank's motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.