Adhikari v. Kellogg Brown & Root, No. 15-20225 (5th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
After an Iraqi insurgent group kidnapped and murdered twelve Nepali men as they traveled through Iraq to a United States military base to work for Daoud, a Jordanian corporation that had a subcontract with KBR, the victims' families and one Daoud employee filed suit against Daoud and KBR under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS), 28 U.S.C. 1350; the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA), 18 U.S.C. 1596; and state common law. Plaintiffs settled with Daoud and the district court eventually dismissed plaintiffs' claims against KBR. The court held that the district court’s grant of summary judgment on the ATS claims in favor of KBR was proper in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co.; the district court correctly dismissed the TVPRA claims because (1) the TVPRA did not apply extraterritorially at the time of the alleged conduct in 2004 and (2) applying a 2008 amendment to the TVPRA that had the effect of permitting plaintiffs’ extraterritorial claims would have an improper retroactive effect on KBR; and the district court did not abuse its discretion in dismissing the common law claims by refusing to equitably toll plaintiffs’ state law tort claims. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.