Foley Hoag Secures Early Dismissal of Case Against Republic of Poland Under Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act in US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

February 09, 2022

On February 4, 2022, Foley Hoag LLP obtained an important victory for its clients the Republic of Poland and its political subdivision Gmina Ludwin, by securing the early dismissal of a case under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA). The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois granted the motion to dismiss brought by Poland and Gmina Ludwin in Solo Investments LLC et al. v. Gmina Ludwin et al. (No. 20-cv-6477).

The case was brought by Solo Investments LLC, a Polish company, and its owners and general manager, asserting claims of expropriation and unjust enrichment arising out a dispute involving the development of a resort property in Poland. Poland and Gmina Ludwin moved to dismiss the case, invoking their immunity from suit under the FSIA.

The Court, in an opinion by Judge Robert W. Gettleman, rejected the plaintiffs’ arguments that the Court had jurisdiction over their claims. It held that the FSIA’s commercial activity exception did not apply because the gravamen of the claims was an alleged expropriation, a sovereign act. Nor did the FSIA’s expropriation exception apply, the Court determined, because the plaintiffs had failed to identify property in the United States owned by either Poland or Gmina Ludwin, and because neither defendant is an agency or instrumentality of Poland. Finally, the Court held that the U.S.-Poland bilateral investment treaty does not provide a basis for exercising jurisdiction over the claims.

Foley Hoag partner Andrew Loewenstein led the team defending Poland and Gmina Ludwin with the assistance of associates Nicholas Renzler and Rumbidzai Maweni, as well as co-counsel David Pawlak of David A. Pawlak LLC.