Feeds

Judge dismisses IBM apartheid lawsuit

Charges 'bordered on the frivolous'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

A US judge has thrown out a case seeking billions in damages from companies charged with benefitting from South Africa's apartheid system.

New York District Court judge John Sprizzo gave his ruling on Monday, saying the charges "bordered on the frivolous", according to a report from the AP. A number of lawsuits filed throughout the US had been consolidated in Sprizzo's court. The companies charged with profiting from apartheid included giants such as IBM, ExxonMobil and Citigroup. The lawsuits against these firms were seeking damages of up to $400bn.

Sprizzo used harsh word to describe apartheid and questioned the morality of companies doing business with South Africa while such as system was in place, the news service reported. In the end, however, he ruled that the US companies did not directly cause any number of crimes including murder and torture by their business actions.

Plaintiffs had argued that the US companies supplied things such as oil, computers and financial services that made the machinery of apartheid possible.

South African president Thabo Mbeki has said in the past that he would like the lawsuits to be thrown out. Mbeki said that many of the companies have helped to rebuild South Africa and that their investments in the country are still much needed. The lawsuits are somewhat similar to those faced by IBM, when it was charged with providing computers that helped the Nazis with the Holocaust. ®

Related stories

Microsoft offshores patent war - so goes the WTO?
Old-timers squeeze $300m out of IBM
Gypsies to sue IBM over Nazi links

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
BT said to have pulled patent-infringing boxes from DSL network
Take your license demand and stick it in your ASSIA
Right to be forgotten should apply to Google.com too: EU
And hey - no need to tell the website you've de-listed. That'll make it easier ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Managing SSL certificates with ease
The lack of operational efficiencies and compliance pitfalls associated with poor SSL certificate management, and how the right SSL certificate management tool can help.