Court affirms dismissal of Alcolac poison-gas lawsuit

RICHMOND — A federal appeals court has upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit alleging the chemical company Alcolac Inc. illegally sold chemical-weapons materials to the Saddam Hussein regime in the 1980s.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously agreed Monday with a federal judge in Maryland who ruled that Alcolac, as a corporation, cannot be held liable under the Torture Victim Protection Act.

Judge Marvin Garbis also found that the plaintiffs, a group of expatriate Iraqi Kurds, had not established that Alcolac provided chemicals to Iraq for the purpose of facilitating genocide against the Kurdish people. The appeals court said the plaintiffs failed to demonstrate Alcolac intended to aid and abet violations of international law.

Alcolac, once based in Baltimore, is now owned by Paris-based Rhodia group.

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