In Exxon suit, judge leaves opening for villagers

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge has left a small legal opening for some Indonesian villagers to pursue a lawsuit against Exxon Mobil Corp. over alleged human rights abuses by Indonesian troops guarding an Exxon natural gas field.

In a decision last year, the Supreme Court drastically limited the ability of foreign victims of human rights abuses to use American courts to seek monetary damages for their suffering. However, the Supreme Court said claims that "touch and concern the territory of the United States" might in some instances be allowed to go forward.

On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth ruled that lawyers for the villagers should be given the opportunity to amend their lawsuit in light of the Supreme Court's decision.