Cn I sue a U.S. company from a foreign country?

I live in Costa Rica but I work for a company located in the U.S.The company had repeatedly breach the agreement that with employees in CR, they had not paid some money to us. Is there any way I can sue that company in US?

Asked on October 27, 2017 under Business Law, New York


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

As a resident of Costa Rica, you can sue the U.S. company in federal court.  The appropriate federal court for filing your lawsuit is located in the judicial district where the company is located. This would be the nearest federal court to the company's location.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You could file a lawsuit in the state and county  n which the company is located. To oversimplify, under U.S. law, it is the place where the defendant (party being sued) that is most important, not where the plaintiff (party suing) is; anyone, including foreign nationals, can file a lawsuit against a U.S. citizen or company in the court in which that person lives. Of course, even if you were to not hire a lawyer and act as your own attorney ("pro se"), which is allowed--but NOT recommended--you will have to travel to the court most likely several times, for a potentially a number of days in total (e.g. for motion hearings; for a pre-trial conference; for the trial itself, if the case does not settle), potentially at a very large cost. And if you hire a local attorney, while he can handle some of these appearances for you, there are some (e.g. the trial) you'll have to go to in person, and you'll be paying the attorney as well. Suing internationally can be very expensive--many thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars (for longer, more complicated cases) and under U.S. law, you can't recover those costs from the other side: make sure the lawsuit is worth the potential cost.

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