Damages Claims Related to Terrorist Plane Attacks
It can be highly difficult to recover damages from terrorist cells in a tort lawsuit for personal injury or wrongful death damages. Even assuming jurisdiction, service of process and obtaining a judgment, collecting damages will be difficult in most circumstances.
Nevertheless, our trial attorneys at Kreindler & Kreindler LLP have successfully represented the families of terrorist aviation attacks. After many years of litigation, we established liability against Libya's national government for its role in the terrorist attack over Lockerbie, Scotland, and we recovered $10 million for each victim's family. Kreindler is currently leading the fight to hold the alleged sponsors of al Qaeda liable for the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Lawyers for National or International Aviation Terrorism Cases
The key to developing an effective legal theory of recovery in a terrorist-related aviation disaster is to prove a relationship between the attack, a terrorist group and a state sponsor. National governments have been known to train, fund and otherwise support the activities of terrorist groups.
Ordinarily, sovereign governments can claim immunity under international and domestic law for tort claims, but our country's Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) specifies an exception for state sponsors of terrorism. Because Libya was designated as such a state sponsor at the time of the Lockerbie attack, and our lawyers were able to prove actual Libyan government support for the attack, we were able to hold that nation accountable for civil damages claims.
Congress is currently considering legislation that would strip immunity from foreign nations who support terrorist attacks in the U.S. This new law would mean that the families of terror victims from attacks on our soil would be able to hail into court any nation that supported the attack, even if that nation is not designated by our State Department as a state sponsor of terrorism.
Kreindler's experience with the evaluation of terrorist-related aviation attacks means that we can advise you of the practical strength of your case under a wide range of circumstances. For more information about this aspect of our aviation disaster practice, contact us.