(JTA) – Germany’s national railway has hired a law firm and public relations agency in the United States to monitor proposed legislation that would allow Holocaust survivors to sue for damages in U.S. courts, a German newspaper reported.
Deutsche Bahn reportedly fears that the Holocaust Rail Justice Act, which is under review in the U.S. Congress, would allow survivors to sue the railroad for millions of dollars, according to der Spiegel.
The hires were made at the end of 2011, the newspaper reported. The PR agency also is supposed to lobby in Washington on behalf of the railroad, and the law firm is observing and analyzing the bill as it makes its way through Congress. Neither firm was named in the der Spiegel report.
The measure, sponsored by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D.-N.Y.), would allow Holocaust survivors who were transported by the French national railway, SNCF, to Nazi death camps during the German occupation of France to sue in American courts. But its language reportedly is broad enough to include other European railroad companies, including Deutsche Bahn.
Under the act, non-U.S. citizen Holocaust survivors could sue European railway companies in American courts, according to der Spiegel.