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Old 20 December 2014, 12:43 PM
Kibu Kibu is offline
 
 
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Default US company sues government and wins

This isn't so much a legend, as an interesting historical fact.

ITT (now ITT/Exelis) a defense contractor for the US military, at one time owned several factories in Germany. Factories which were used by Focke-Wulf to build aircraft for the German war machine. After the war, the company sued the US government in the 1960's, seeking Twenty Seven million dollars in damages, incurred by the US and Allied Bombing campaign against German factories.

The judge didn't toss the suit out of court, in fact, the company actually WON the lawsuit, forcing the US government to pay them for the damages caused to their plants...plants which were, at the time, working for the enemy.
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Old 26 December 2014, 05:27 PM
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ASL ASL is offline
 
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Read This!

Do you have a cite for this? Preferably one that details the legal basis for the suit, not just whether or not it occurred?
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  #3  
Old 26 December 2014, 05:42 PM
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In this Straight Dope (sorry!) thread, a poster posits that ITT may have sued to get compensation from the reparations fund that the Axis powers were required to create. Since the US was probably the entity in charge of disbursing those funds to US companies, it would be the US that would have to be sued.
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  #4  
Old 26 December 2014, 06:25 PM
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This story and a few similar ones(Ford factories not being targeted by the Western Allies) always seem to pop up on the history forum I frequent put never with primary documentation. By the wording almost all the references I've seen come from the same initial source but I've never come across anything from an official source or website.
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  #5  
Old 30 December 2014, 02:49 PM
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Seaboe Muffinchucker Seaboe Muffinchucker is offline
 
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Glasses

U.S. Companies sue the U.S. Gov't all the time and win. I'll try to remember to see what I can find on this one when I go back to work on Friday.

Seaboe
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  #6  
Old 30 December 2014, 05:52 PM
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Be interested to see what you can find. Most of the databases that I've come across from that era are either military or diplomatic in nature and not legal.
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  #7  
Old 30 December 2014, 06:35 PM
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I found something sourced to a book that said it was compensation for destruction of US-owned property in Germany by the Allies. $5 million was for the Focke-Wulf factories. It's possible there was wording that allowed any loss by a US company to be compensated, perhaps intentionally or through poor drafting. It's also possible, I suppose, if ITT was a minority owner, or otherwise lost control of the factories during the war, that they were viewed as victims of the war as well.

ETA: Not sure if this will link directly: https://books.google.com/books?id=PY...20wulf&f=false. I also don't know the book's source for the information.
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Old 02 January 2015, 02:36 PM
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Seaboe Muffinchucker Seaboe Muffinchucker is offline
 
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Glasses

As far as I could determine, there is no such case in LexisNexis (federal courts since 1944) with ITT as a named party. Such a case would have to be filed in the court of claims, and the only ones I could find involved contracts entered into after WWII.

A more general search for ITT cases during the 60s turned up mainly labor cases (they had a lot of conflicts with their unions, apparently).

Sorry.

Seaboe
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  #9  
Old 15 March 2015, 07:40 AM
Kibu Kibu is offline
 
 
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http://www.thecrimson.com/article/19...-minderbinder/

Quote: In 1967 the American government paid ITT $5 million for damage to Rocke-Wulk (sic) plants inflicted during the war by American bombers. The plants were, after all, American property.

http://www.smashedo.org.uk/resources/edo&itt.pdf

The above notes that they sued for 27 million, but does not note that the case was won.

Introduction to Criminology: Theories, Methods, and Criminal Behavior states on pg 314:

"While it is not uncommon for victors to demand that losing countries pay reparations or war debts for damages, i is surprising that the United States paid for damages to U.S. multinational plants that were ruined during Allied bombing of Nazi-occupied Europe. Parenti (1980, p.76) describes such postwar payments to GM and International Telephone and Telegraph (ITT). ITT had produced Nazi bombers and received $27 million in damages, while GM had produced Nazi trucks and obtained $33 million in compensation..."

Note: It seems that the award, recorded at 27 million, is by today's standards; as opposed to the suit's original goal of 7 million.
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