Tag Archives: United Nations

Case of the Day: Georges v. United Nations

Haitians confronting peacekeepers about cholera

The case of the day is Georges v. United Nations (2d Cir. 2016). This is the Haiti cholera case. I’ve written about it a couple of times, including a post on the District Court’s decision dismissing the complaint. From the beginning I predicted dismissal on immunity grounds, and barring en banc review or intervention by the Supreme Court, that’s how it’s turned out.

Here was my description of the case from the prior post:
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Case of the Day: Georges v. United Nations

The case of the day is Georges v. United Nations (S.D.N.Y. 2015). I first wrote about the case in December 2013, and then again in March 2014. The case is a putative class action by Haitians against the United Nations, the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti, and two UN officials, Secretary-General Ban and former Under-Secretary-General Edmond Mulet. The claim was that the defendants are liable for the injuries caused by the cholera epidemic in Haiti. It seems that UN troops introduced the disease to Haiti, which had previously been free of cholera.

The plaintiffs sought to deliver the summons and complaint to UN officials at the UN headquarters in New York but were refused entry. They also sent the summons and complaint to the UN by certified mail and by fax and now have moved for an order deeming service to have been effectuated or, in the alternative, seeking leave to serve process by mail or fax. I thought this was a pretty easy call—in the prior posts I opined that the defendants were immune from suit and that the plaintiffs had failed to effect service of process.
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LaVenture v. United Nations: The Romance of the Process Server

A theater of the absurd played out on the streets of Manhattan last week. The plaintiffs for a class of Haitian victims of the cholera epidemic seeking to sue the United Nations and several of its officials in the Eastern District of New York hired a process server to serve the summons and complaint on Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. (Note that this lawsuit is separate from Georges v. United Nations, which I’ve covered before). According to The New York Times, the process server claims he got the job done:
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