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Case of the Day: ÖBB Personenverkehr v. Sachs

The case of the day is ÖBB Personenverkehr AG v. Sachs (S. Ct. 2015). Carol Sachs, a Californian, bought a Eurail pass via the website of The Rail Pass Experts, a Massachusetts travel agent. She traveled to Innsbruck, intending to use her pass to ride the train to Prague. But as she attempted to board, she fell onto the tracks, and the moving train crushed her legs, which had to be amputated. She sued ÖBB, which operates the railway in Austria, for negligence, failure to warn, breach of implied warranty, etc., in the Northern District of California. ÖBB is owned by ÖBB Holding Group, which in turn is wholly owned by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation, and Technology.

ÖBB moved to dismiss the action for want of subject matter jurisdiction, arguing that it had sovereign immunity under the FSIA. The District Court granted its motion, and a panel of the Ninth Circuit affirmed, but the full court, en banc, reversed, and ÖBB sought review in the Supreme Court.
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Case of the Day: Ezeiruaku v. Bull

The case of the day is Ezeiruaku v. Bull (3d Cir. 2015). Vincent Ezeiruaku, an American citizen, was detained by two officers of the Metropolitan Police, Dan Bull and David March, while traveling through Heathrow Airport. The officers seized $80,000 he had in his possession, and the UK government held the currency for fourteen months before eventually returning it without interest. Ezeiruaku sued Bull, March, and the London police in New Jersey, alleging “violations of his constitutional right to due process, and his property rights, in connection with the seizure of his funds.”
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Case of the Day: Republic of Argentina v. NML Capital

The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker Hill by John Trumbull
Letters Blogatory wishes you a happy Bunker Hill Day!
Credit: Wikipedia
Yesterday the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Republic of Argentina v. NML Capital. Just to avoid confusion, this is not the case about whether Judge Griesa got it wrong when he issued an injunction forbidding Argentina to favor holders of new debt over the holdout owners of defaulted debt. The Court denied Argentina’s petition for a writ of certiorari yesterday. 1 This is the case that deals with the interaction between the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act and Rule 69 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which gives a judgment creditor the right to take discovery about a judgment debtor’s assets in aid of the judgment. Can the holdout bondholders obtain information about Argentina’s assets around the world? Short answer: yes.
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Notes:

  1. I have stopped covering the dispute about the merits of the injunction and the correct construction of the pari passu clause, because there are lots of people covering it very well.