2d Cir.: Identifying Dissent for Saudi Government Isn’t Negligent
From Tuesday’s Abdulaziz v. McKinsey & Co., Inc. (opinion by Chief Judge Debra Ann Livingston and Judges José Cabranes and Michael Park):
Abdulaziz describes himself as “a political dissident from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia … who now resides in Montreal, Quebec.” He sued [McKinsey] …, alleging that McKinsey created a PowerPoint report for the government of Saudi Arabia, identifying Abdulaziz as one of three influential dissidents using Twitter to criticize certain policies of the Saudi government, Saudi royal family, and Saudi crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman (“MBS”). Abdulaziz pled that, after receiving the report, the Saudi government responded by targeting him with assassination attempts and arrested, tortured, and harassed his family members and friends currently living in Saudi Arabia.
No liability, said the court:
Other than the foreseeability of risk, Abdulaziz provides no reason why sharing the report was itself a breach of a cognizable duty of care running from McKinsey to Abdulaziz, and he fails to distinguish such a putative duty from similar ones rejected by New York courts. See Valeriano v. Rome Sentinel Co., 842 N.Y.S.2d 805, 806 (4th Dep’t 2007) (no duty not to publish another’s personal information absent a “statutory, contractual or fiduciary duty to protect the confidentiality of plaintiff’s personal information”). T
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