(Reuters) – A US appellate court on Tuesday revived a lawsuit against AstraZeneca, Pfizer and other companies over allegations that their contract with the Iraqi Ministry of Health helped fund terrorism that killed Americans during the Iraq war.
claims that the Hezbollah-sponsored militia group Jaysh al-Mahdi controlled the Iraqi Ministry of Health and that the 21 accused U.S. and European medical supply and manufacturing companies made corrupt payments to obtain medical supply contracts.
The companies have denied any wrongdoing. Representatives from the five corporate groups – AstraZeneca, GE Healthcare USA Holding, Johnson & Johnson Pfizer and Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The Columbia Circuit was taken by family members as victims of attacks in Iraq by the Mahdi group. A federal court judge rejected the lawsuit in 2020.
Attorney Kannon Shanmugam, who argued for the appeal on behalf of the companies, did not comment immediately.
Family members' attorney, Joshua Branson, did not immediately comment.
Corporate lawyers told the Court of Appeal that they provided the Iraqi government with "life-saving breast cancer treatments, haemorrhagic injections, ultrasounds, electrocardiogram machines and other medical supplies" after the US-led invasion of Iraq overthrew President Saddam Hussein in 2003.