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Civil and Human Rights
Cases and Current Investigations
- Khulumani v. Barclay National Bank Ltd., (Nos. 05-2141 & 05-2326) (S.D.N.Y.). Hausfeld LLP represents the plaintiffs, direct victims and an Apartheid support group, who sued dozens of major corporations, both U.S. and foreign, alleging liability for aiding and abetting the South African system of Apartheid. The district court dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims under the Alien Tort Statute (absence of subject matter jurisdiction) and the Torture Victim Protection Act (failure to state a claim). On appeal, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed dismissal of the TVPA claims, but vacated the district court’s dismissal of the ATS claims. The claims are currently proceeding in the district court.
- September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, Hausfeld LLP lawyers helped a number of survivors as well as the families of those who perished in the September 11th terrorist attack on the Pentagon obtain compensation from the September 11th Compensation Fund. We achieved significant awards - including one of the highest awards granted by the fund to a catastrophically injured survivor.
- Hwang v. Japan (Japanese Comfort Women), 00-cv-02233 (D.D.C.). Hausfeld LLP lawyers represented survivors of the system of sexual slavery instituted by the Government of Japan in the territories it conquered in World War II. The women, euphemistically known as “comfort women,” were recruited by force, coercion, or deception into sexual slavery for the Japanese Military – victims of what is now known and condemned as trafficking in persons. Of the estimated 200,000 women enslaved by the Japanese military, only a few thousand survived the harsh treatment.
- Alexander v. Governor of Oklahoma (Tulsa Race Riots), No. 02-cv-133 (Ok.) Hausfeld LLP lawyers, as part of team of lawyers organized by Professor Charles Ogletree of Harvard Law School, represented the survivors of the nation’s worst race riot. On the night of May 31, 1921 through the morning of June 1, 1921, the African-American district of Tulsa, Oklahoma, then known as the “Black Wall Street,” was invaded and burned to the ground by a white mob, with the participation of City and State authorities. As many as 300 African Americans were killed, African-American homes and businesses burned to the ground, and the residents who were not killed or did not escape were rounded up and confined in detention centers. The survivors brought suit and asked the State and City to include information about the Riot in history classes, for educational scholarships for children of survivors, and a memorial. Michael Hausfeld’s efforts were recently highlighted in the documentary film, Before They Die.