Achieving Restitution: The Potential Unjust Enrichment Claims of Indigenous Peoples Against Multinational Corporations
David N. Fagan
In the rush to exploit untouched resources in remote regions of developing nations, multinational corporations and their local government partners often trample on indigenous land and culture, at times committing atrocities against the indigenous peoples. In this Note, David Fagan examines the use of unjust enrichment as a theory of recovery for indigenous peoples seeking redress for these actions in U.S. courts. Fagan finds that indigenous plaintiffs likely can satisfy the elements of an unjust enrichment claim, and that such a claim is harmonious with the policies behind the unjust enrichment remedy, as well as the practical and personal considerations of these plaintiffs. He concludes that, consistent with its origin as an equitable, novel solution to difficult problems, unjust enrichment would be a particularly appropriate claim for indigenous plaintiffs to pursue.