Helmerich & Payne Int'l Drilling v. Bolivarian Rep. of Venezuela, No. 13-7169 (D.C. Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
After Venezuela forcibly seized oil rigs belonging to the Venezuelan subsidiary of an American corporation, both the parent and subsidiary filed suit in the United States asserting jurisdiction under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act's (FSIA), 28 U.S.C. 1604, 1605-1607, expropriation and commercial activity exceptions. The district court granted Venezuela's motion to dismiss as to the subsidiary's expropriation claim, but denied the motion in all other respects. The court concluded that the district court correctly concluded that the parent corporation had sufficient rights in its subsidiary's property to support its expropriation claim; but the district court should have allowed the claim to proceed because the subsidiary's expropriation claim is neither "wholly substantial" nor "frivolous" under this Circuit's standard for surviving a motion to dismiss in an FSIA case; and the district court should have granted the motion to dismiss with respect the commercial activity exception where the subsidiary's commercial activity had no "direct effect" in the United States, which is required by the FSIA to defeat sovereign immunity. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part and reversed in part.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on August 7, 2018.
- Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela v. Helmerich & Payne Int’l Drilling Co., No. 15-423 (U.S. May. 01, 2017)