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ABU-ZEINEH v. FEDERAL LABS.

December 7, 1994

NABIHA ABU-ZEINEH, as Administratrix of the Estate of Mohammad Abu-Zeineh, YOUSRA ABU-KARISH, as Administratrix of the Estate of Mohammad Abu-Karish, MAHMOUD EL-ATTAR, as Administrator of the Estate of Bahiyeh El-Attar, NUWARAH MASH'AL, as Administratrix of the Estate of Mohammad Mash'al, ABDULLAH GURAB, as Administrator of the Estate of Asmah Gurab, JIHAD ABU-RAMOUZ, as Administratrix of the Estate of Rushdi Abu-Ramouz, ABED SAFI, as Administrator of the Estate of Ayshah Safi, AHMAD ESSAWI, as Administrator of the Estate of Fatima Essawi, and NOFAN EL-KHADER, as Administrator of the Estate of Fatima El-Ara'ash, Plaintiffs,
v.
FEDERAL LABORATORIES, INC. and TRANSTECHNOLOGY CORPORATION, Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: STANDISH

 I

 This is a wrongful death action in which plaintiffs allege that their decedents died as a result of exposure to a chemical weapon, commonly referred to as CS gas, used by the Israeli military in the occupied territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip or in the area around Jerusalem. Plaintiffs seek damages from defendants, alleging that defective CS gas was manufactured and negligently sold by defendants to the Israeli government.

 Defendants have moved to dismiss plaintiffs' amended complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1). *fn1" In the alternative, defendants have moved to dismiss the amended complaint on the grounds of forum non conveniens. For the reasons set forth below, defendants' motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction will be granted.

 II

 Plaintiffs purport to invoke this court's jurisdiction pursuant to Title 28, United States Code, Section 1332(a)(2), which provides:

 
§ 1332. Diversity of citizenship; amount in controversy; costs
 
(a) The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $ 50,000.00, exclusive of interest and costs, and is between--
 
* * *
 
(2) citizens of a State and citizens or subjects of a foreign state ; (emphasis added)
 
* * *

 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(2). *fn2"

 For purposes of diversity jurisdiction, defendant Federal Laboratories, Inc. has a principal place of business in Saltsburg, Pennsylvania, and defendant TransTechnology Corporation is a Delaware corporation with a principal place of business in Union, New Jersey. Plaintiffs Yousra Abu-Karish, Mahmoud El-Attar and Abdullah Gurab allege that they are citizens of Palestine, and the remaining six plaintiffs allege that they are citizens of Palestine and Jordan. *fn3"

 After considering the materials submitted in support of, and in opposition to, defendants' motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, the court concluded that the opinion of the United States Department of State should be solicited concerning two questions which are relevant to this court's jurisdiction in the above-captioned civil action. *fn4" The first question related to the ...


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