Abelsz v. Magyar Nemzeti Bank

Holocaust survivors and heirs of other Holocaust victims sued, alleging that the Hungarian National Bank and Hungarian National Railway participated in expropriating property from Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust. Railway plaintiffs claimed subject matter jurisdiction under the expropriation exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, 28 U.S.C. 1605(a)(3), and assert: takings in violation of international law, aiding and abetting genocide, complicity in genocide, violations of customary international law, unlawful conversion, unjust enrichment, fraudulent misrepresentation, and accounting. Bank plaintiffs claimed subject matter jurisdiction under the FSIA expropriation and waiver exceptions, 28 U.S.C. 1605(a)(1) and assert: genocide, aiding and abetting genocide, bailment, conversion, constructive trust, and accounting. They sought certifications as class actions, seeking to have the railway held responsible for approximately $1.25 billion, and the bank held jointly and severally responsible with private banks for approximately $75 billion. The district court declined to dismiss. The Seventh Circuit held that it had appellate jurisdiction under the collateral order doctrine and remanded with instructions that plaintiffs either exhaust available Hungarian remedies identified by defendants or present a legally compelling reason for failure to do so. The court should allow jurisdictional discovery with respect to whether the railway is engaged in “commercial activity” in the U.S. View "Abelsz v. Magyar Nemzeti Bank" on Justia Law