The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court’s ruling in favor of the defendants-appellees, agreeing that the ATS claims were impermissibly extraterritorial. The court rejected the plaintiff’s theory that the Supreme Court’s decision in Kiobel creates a vague “touch and concern” test, instead concluding that Morrison v. National Australia Bank’s “focus” test applies.
Additionally, the court held that the claims under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act had been properly dismissed for the same reason. Although a 2008 amendment permits extraterritorial claims, the court held that the amendment couldn’t be applied retroactively to the claims at issue, which arose in 2004.
Finally, the Fifth Circuit agreed that the state common-law claims had been properly dismissed as time barred, as there were no grounds for equitable tolling.