Take Action
March 16, 2006: National Day of Action
Use our CAT action resources, flyers, and talking points
Send CAT Board a letter: Stop selling bulldozers to Israel
Send a letter to CAT dealerships
Envíele una carta al Presidente de CAT
Ask Congress to investigate CAT's violations of U.S. law
Send a postcard to John Lewis: Ask for CAT products off the shelves
Get E-Mail Alerts

Israeli bulldozers raze Tulkarem olive trees
Novi: Protesters honor young woman killed supporting Palestinians
Rachel Corrie's family appeals lawsuit against bulldozer-maker
Jewish Statement Against Caterpillar Human Rights Abuses
Four arrested in protest against Caterpillar
More »
EI Newswire

This webpage uses Javascript to display some content.

Please enable Javascript in your browser and reload this page.

Home   »  Learn More  »  The World Reacts  »  Rachel Corrie's family appeals ...

Rachel Corrie's family appeals lawsuit against bulldozer-maker

by Gene JohnsonsSeattle Post-Intelligencer
March 23rd, 2006

SEATTLE -- The parents of a 23-year-old who was killed trying to prevent the demolition of an occupied Palestinian home have appealed a judge's decision to dismiss their lawsuit against Caterpiller Inc., the company that made the bulldozer that ran over her.

"He applied the wrong legal standard and ignored the facts," said Maria LaHood, a lawyer with the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights.

Rachel Corrie was killed three years ago by an Israeli soldier driving a bulldozer. She was trying to stop him from demolishing a Gaza Strip home while the family was inside; though witnesses said she was clearly visible, the army claimed he didn't see her.

Her parents sued Caterpiller on the grounds that for years, the company has provided bulldozers to the Israeli army, knowing they would be used to destroy civilian homes in violation of international law. They were joined in the lawsuit by five Palestinians who say their relatives were killed or injured by Israeli-driven bulldozers.

"This has been a challenging time for our family, since we just marked the three-year anniversary of Rachel's death without justice," said her mother, Cindy Corrie. "Caterpillar chooses to support these illegal activities with continuing sales and service of its equipment. It must be held accountable for its role in human rights violations, both past and present."

In November, U.S. District Judge Franklin Burgess in Tacoma threw out the lawsuit, agreeing with Caterpiller that it wasn't responsible for what the Israeli army did with its legally sold product.

"Selling products to a foreign government does not make the seller a participant in that governments alleged international law violations," Burgess wrote.

In the appeal, filed Monday with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the Corries' lawyers argue that the judge missed the point.

"This case doesn't allege Caterpiller should be liable just because they were doing business with the Israelis," LaHood said. "It argues that because they knew the D9 and D10 bulldozers would be used to demolish homes in violation of international law, they are liable."

Caterpiller lawyer James Magee said, "Obviously, Caterpiller believes the ruling was correct," but declined to comment further because he had not reviewed the appeal carefully.

The Peoria, Ill.-based company has declined to discuss the lawsuit but issued the following statement last year: "Caterpillar shares the world's concern over unrest in the Middle East and we certainly have compassion for all those affected by political strife. However, more than 2 million Caterpillar machines and engines are at work in virtually every region of the world each day. We have neither the legal right nor the means to police individual use of that equipment."

The information on this site is not sponsored by Caterpillar.

Site created and maintained by Jewish Voice for Peace.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.