The Evolving Doctrine of Implication: The Export Administration Act and Private Rights of Action

Bonfield, Lauren B. | January 1, 1985

Two recent United States District Court opinions examine the question of when a federal court may invoke the “implication” doctrine which permits them “to create a private right of action from a federal statute that does not expressly provide for [a] private remed[y]. . . .” Both of the cases raise the issue of implication as it applies to the antiboycott provision of the Export Administration Act (EAA). Plaintiffs in both Bulk Oil (Zug) A.G. v. Sun Co., and Abrams v. Baylor College of Medicine, claimed an implied private right to bring an action for damages and in addition, alleged substantive violations of the statute’s antiboycott provisions. InAbrams v. Baylor College, the court ruled that the EAA did create an implied private right of action. This conclusion seemed to contradict the Bulk Oil decision handed down seven months earlier which held that no private remedy exists under the statute.