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Businessman seeks new hearing in Coca-Cola lawsuit

JTA

May 4, 2012 | 10:24 am

Photo by Billy Hathorn/Wikipedia

Photo by Billy Hathorn/Wikipedia

A Jewish Canadian-Egyptian businessman wants a full U.S. appeals court to rehear his lawsuit against Coca-Cola for using his family’s property in Egypt.

Raphael Bigio and his family filed the brief Wednesday in the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York. He is suing the Coca-Cola Company headquartered in the United States for its use of family property in the Cairo suburbs that was confiscated by President Gamel Nasser in 1965 during his purges against Egyptian Jews.

Bigio is hoping to settle with the beverage giant for compensation for what he alleges is substantial profit. Coca-Cola Egypt had leased the property from the family following Nasser’s purge.

A three-judge panel of the New York-based appeals court dismissed the case in March on the grounds that the complaint did not contain sufficient evidence that Coca-Cola caused or directed Coca-Cola Egypt to build additional buildings on the property.

In a news statement distributed by his attorney, the Washington firm of Lewin & Lewin, Bigio said his family’s story is “one of flagrant abuse, first by an anti-Jewish government, then by a greedy corporate Goliath.”

Coca-Cola has said that an Egyptian state-owned company, not Coca-Cola, owns the property; that it is a minority stakeholder in the company that leases the land; and that the land was purchased lawfully from the Egyptian government.

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