Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Doe v. Exxon Mobil Corp.

September 30, 2009

JOHN DOE VIII, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
EXXON MOBIL CORPORATION, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Royce C. Lamberth, Chief Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Before the Court is defendants' Motion [20] to Dismiss. Defendants argue eight separate grounds for dismissal. For the reasons set forth below, the Court finds that plaintiffs lack standing. Accordingly, the Court need not address the remaining grounds for dismissal and will grant defendants' motion.

I. BACKGROUND

The Court notes that a number of the issues raised by defendants' motion are similar to issues raised in the ongoing matter John Doe, et al. v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, et al., Civ. No. 01-1357 (D.D.C.) ("Doe I"). Doe I, filed in 2001, involves allegations by eleven anonymous Aceh residents against Indonesian soldiers acting as Exxon Mobil security personnel. Doe I (like the instant case) was originally assigned to Judge Oberdorfer of this Court and was transferred to the undersigned in September 2008.

Anonymous plaintiffs John Doe VIII, John Doe IX, John Doe X, and John Doe XI are citizens of the Aceh Province, Indonesia.*fn1 (Compl. ¶¶ 6-9.) Defendants are four corporations: Exxon Mobil Corporation (EMC), Mobil Corporation (MC), Mobil Oil Corporation (MOC), and Exxon Mobil Oil Indonesia (EMOI). (Id. ¶¶ 10-17.) EMC is incorporated in New Jersey and has its principal place of business in Texas. (Id. ¶ 10.) MC and MOC are both wholly owned subsidiaries of EMC with principal places of business in Texas. (Id. ¶¶ 13-14.) EMOI, another wholly owned subsidiary of EMC, was incorporated in Delaware at the time of the conduct at issue in this Complaint (2004) but was reincorporated in the Cayman Islands in December 2005 (prior to the 2007 filing of plaintiffs' Complaint herein). (Id. ¶ 16.) EMOI's principal place of business is in Indonesia. (Id.)

Plaintiffs' claims arise from activities related to the Arun natural gas field in Aceh. Defendants operate several natural gas facilities at the Arun field. (Id. ¶ 34.) Plaintiffs allege that defendants retained members of the Indonesian military to provide security for the Arun facilities. (Id. ¶ 39.) Plaintiffs further allege that, while under direction of defendants, the retained soldiers committed a variety of offenses against plaintiffs. (Id. ¶ 48.) Specifically:

* John Doe VIII alleges that in June 2004, soldiers acting as security personnel shot him in the knee, leaving him unable to work. (Id. ¶ 60.)

* John Doe IX alleges that upon attempting to help John Doe XIII after he was shot, soldiers acting as security personnel dragged him along the ground, injured his arm in the process, and stomped on his head. (Id. ¶ 61.)

* John Doe X alleges that in October 2004, soldiers acting as security personnel kicked him and detained him at a security post, interrogated him about the activies of other villagers, beat him when he provided insufficient answers, then later came to his home and apologized for beating him (while remaining armed). (Id. ¶ 62.)

* John Doe XI alleges that in or around October 2004, soldiers acting as security personnel ordered him to report to a security post where they kicked and punched him and ordered him to bring fruit from his fruit stand to the security post. He also alleges that they visited him several days later to apologize for their actions while warning him not to complain about what happened. (Id. ¶ 60.)

Plaintiffs filed suit in May 2007 alleging battery, assault, false imprisonment/false arrest, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, negligent hiring, and negligent supervision. (Id. ¶¶ 83, 93, 97, 101, 106, 110.)

II. DISCUSSION

Defendants move for dismissal of some or all of plaintiffs' claims under eight separate theories: (a) lack of standing for alien plaintiffs, (b) various prudential bars to jurisdiction (act of state, comity, political question, and foreign affairs preemption doctrines), (c) failure to join an indispensable party, (d) statute of limitations, (e) lack of diversity jurisdiction, (f) lack of personal jurisdiction over EMOI, (g) choice of law, and (h) failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Because the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.