European Community v. RJR Nabisco, Inc.

The European Union sued RJR Nabisco claiming that the company directed and managed a global smuggling and money-laundering scheme with organized crime groups in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) law. In this decision, the court disagreed with a lower court and revived the case against RJR. The court ruled that RJR could be sued under the RICO law because (1) some of the underlying laws that were allegedly violated (e.g., money laundering) apply outside of the United States; and (2) violations of other laws (e.g., mail and wire fraud) occurred inside the United States. Additionally, the court ruled that the federal court has jurisdiction to hear the case because the European Union (known as the European Community in this lawsuit) qualifies as a foreign state.