Posted on July 7, 2005

U.S. Judge Dismisses Slave Reparations Suit

Reuters, July 6

NEW YORK — A federal judge on Wednesday dismissed for the second time a lawsuit demanding that more than a dozen companies pay reparations to the descendants of African-American slaves, but the plaintiffs pledged to appeal.

The 3-year-old case involved claims by descendants of slaves that the companies or their predecessors had profited from the slave trade or slave labor.

In a 104-page opinion, District Judge Charles Norgle said the horrors of slavery are undeniable, but the plaintiffs failed to show that they “personally suffered a concrete and particularized injury” as a result of the defendants’ conduct.

Defendants in the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, included railroads, banks, cigarette makers and insurance companies. The plaintiffs’ suit had been dismissed in 2004, but was later refiled.