Product Makers Owned by Foreign Government May Move Suits to Federal Court
Description Appeals court affirmed that a gun making company, owned by the Chinese government, has the right, under the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act, to move any suit against it from state court to federal court for a non-jury trial.
Topic International Law
Key Words Sovereign Immunity
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts McCourt pointed his loaded MAK-90 semiautomatic rifle at Green "trying to scare him." He pulled the trigger, striking Green in the head and killing him. McCourt was convicted of manslaughter. Green's estate sued NORINCO, the gun maker, for product defect in state court. NORINCO, a Chinese-government owned entity, demanded that the suit be moved from state court to federal court. The federal court ordered the move. Green's estate appealed.
Decision Affirmed. Under the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act, which covers entities owned by foreign governments such as NORNICO, federal courts have jurisdiction over actions against foreign parties. Such actions are tried by courts without juries. When this law is applied to a case, all parties are moved to the federal court for trial, not just the foreign parties. This law is designed to provide uniformity in the treatment of foreign sovereigns and to remove any local bias that might be present in a jury trial in state court.
Citation Davis v. McCourt, - F.3d - (2000 WL 690178, 6th Cir., 2000)

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