preloader icon

Apex Trader Funding (ATF) - News

Federal appeals court throws out lawsuit against Apple, Google, Tesla and other tech giants over alleged child labor in Congo

CNN  —  A federal appeals court on Tuesday threw out a lawsuit that sought to hold Apple, Google, Tesla and other major tech companies liable for their alleged use of child labor to mine cobalt in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The DC Circuit Court of Appeals said in a unanimous ruling that while the plaintiffs who brought the suit in 2019 had the legal right — known as standing — to bring the case, they had failed to satisfy the legal elements necessary to pursue their claims against the companies. “Purchasing an unspecified amount of cobalt through the global supply chain is not ‘participation in a venture’ within the meaning of’ federal anti-trafficking law,” Circuit Judge Neomi Rao wrote in the court’s ruling. “The plaintiffs have not adequately alleged the Tech Companies participated in a venture because there is no shared enterprise between the Companies and the suppliers who facilitate forced labor,” Rao wrote. “The Tech Companies own no interest in their suppliers. Nor do the Tech Companies share in the suppliers’ profits and risks.” But, Rao noted, “the cobalt suppliers and their subsidiaries actively solicit and force children to work in order to meet the Tech Companies’ growing demand for cobalt.” Cobalt is a major component of lithium-ion batteries found in virtually every rechargeable electronic gadget. Two-thirds of the world’s cobalt comes from Congo. A federal judge in DC had previously thrown the case out. But the group of plaintiffs, which includes former underage miners who were injured in cobalt mining accidents and the guardians of children who were killed while working in cobalt mines, turned to the appeals court in 2021 to revive their suit. The defendants in the case were Apple, Alphabet (which owns Google), Dell Technologies, Microsoft and Tesla. The class action lawsuit was brought on behalf of the plaintiffs by International Rights Advocates, which had claimed that the children were exploited and hurt in mining operations linked to the mining companies Glencore, Umicore and Huayou Cobalt, which the group said supply to either some or all of the defendants. None of those companies were listed as defendants.