U.S. Supreme Court dismisses appeal for reinstatement of damages awarded under Anti-Terrorism Act

Team SoOLEGAL 2 Apr 2018 9:35pm

U.S. Supreme Court dismisses appeal for reinstatement of damages awarded under Anti-Terrorism Act

Washington: The U.S. Supreme Court dismissed an appeal filed by 11 American families asking it to reinstate a $655.5 million jury award turned down by a lower court. The case is about bombings between 2002 and 2004 in the Jerusalem area which left 33 people dead. Those who died included several Americans. It was alleged that Palestine Liberation Organisation was responsible for the terrorist act as they funded the attackers and gave aid to family of militants that died.

In 2015, after a six-week trial, a federal jury in Manhattan awarded the families $218.5 million, which was tripled automatically to $655.5 million under the Anti-Terrorism Act, a law that lets American victims of international terrorism seek damages in U.S. courts.

However  the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered that the civil lawsuit to be dismissed. The appeals court said the attacks occurred “entirely outside” U.S. territory, and found no evidence that Americans were targeted. As a result, American courts do not have jurisdiction to hear the claims, the appeals court said.

The same was upheld by U.S  Supreme Court even when lawyers for the plaintiffs argued that law was enacted to specifically  apply to attacks that took place outside the United States in which U.S. citizens were injured or killed, irrespective of whether or not Americans were specifically targeted.

During the hearing President Donald Trump’s administration had sided with the Palestinian Authority and PLO in the dispute, urging the justices not to take up the case. However they still maintained that private lawsuits under the Anti-Terrorism Act are “an important means of fighting terrorism and providing redress for the victims of terrorist attacks and their families.”

Tagged: U.S Supreme Court   Anti-Terrorism ACT   PLO   Trump Administration  
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