the same apprehensions, constraints, and privations at one time
or another during their ordeals, with notably similar
consequences, and no consistent basis has been shown (with
exceptions to be noted) to distinguish between them.
They were kept against their will in Kuwait or Iraq and unable
to move about freely in either country. They were denied means
to communicate with the outside world. They remained in constant
fear for their own lives (and in some cases for the lives of
family and friends), and in perpetual uncertainty as to when, if
ever, their captivity would end. They were deprived, for lesser
or greater periods, of potable water, edible food, basic
sanitation, changes of clothing, shelter from the climate,
medicines and medical care, and habitable living conditions.
Most were, at one time or another, subjected to or threatened
with some physical brutality by their captors, and most were
forced to witness atrocities committed upon others. Some
developed treatable illnesses that were chronic while they
remained in captivity: dysentery was the most common, but others
included fungal infections, hemorrhoids and severe back pain.
One plaintiff (Jack Frazier), deprived of daily medication for
diabetes, experienced an acute, severe, and irreversible
exacerbation of his condition that has progressed to loss of
sight in one eye, and a peripheral neuropathy that has rendered
him a cripple.
All of the plaintiffs lost personal possessions — some of
considerable value — which were stolen, confiscated, abandoned
or destroyed. And all of them manifest symptoms to this day of
the experiences they endured.
Dr. Robert Blum, a Board-certified psychiatrist who has
specialized, and has many years' experience, in the diagnosis
and treatment of the post-release psychiatric problems of
hostages and prisoners of war since 1974, related his findings
with respect to each of the hostage-plaintiffs who testified at
trial. Each suffers today from a chronic post-traumatic stress
disorder of varying degrees of severity. They remain depressed,
anxious, lethargic, moody, and are often irritable. They
experience sudden flashbacks; are frequently insomniac; startle
easily; have vivid nightmares; are sexually indifferent or
actually impotent. Intimacy with others is difficult to achieve.
They avoid any situation or experience, physical or mental,
which is likely to revive recollections of their ordeals.
Occasionally they also feel guilty, sometimes suicidal, for
having survived the ordeal at all, or having done so more
successfully than others may have done.
These residual psychic effects have altered their lives in
myriad ways, not only with respect to the quality of their
personal lives but also in relation to their livelihoods. In
many cases they attribute work-related problems to their
experiences as hostages, and their explanations are plausible.
In the Court's opinion, however, the evidence is too
speculative, and without a basis to exclude unrelated factors as
causative of adverse fortunes in their working lives, to ascribe
any quantity of monetary damages to their economic claims.
Similarly, the evidence of the cost of any therapy they have had
or might seek is too imprecise to quantify into damage awards.
The evidence is nevertheless clearly sufficient to entitle
these plaintiffs to recover damages for false imprisonment, and
the associated pain, suffering, and mental anguish engendered by
the circumstances of their confinement; for the post-release
psychic sequelae they have each manifested, now medically
diagnosed as post-traumatic stress disorders; and
for the physical injuries shown to have been proximately caused
by their ordeals. Although none were subjected to the extremes
of brutality endured by the plaintiffs in such cases as
Cicippio, Anderson, and Daliberti, their sufferings justify
awards of between $3,000 and $5,000 per day of confinement, and
lump sum awards of between $100,000 and $500,000 for their
psychic injuries. Spouses who, by reason of absence from Iraq or
Kuwait at the time, did not share in the actual captivity but
nevertheless suffered it vicariously from afar, as well as the
post-release consequences for their marriages, will be awarded
sums between $100,000 and $300,000 for loss of consortium. Mr.
Frazier is entitled to a judgment of $1 million for the
exacerbation of his diabetic complications.
Plaintiffs also ask the Court to award them punitive damages
against Saddam Hussein. The FSIA exempts a foreign state from
liability for punitive damages, see 28 U.S.C. § 1606, although
an "agency" or "instrumentality" by which it commits acts of
terrorism may be vulnerable to a punitive award. Saddam Hussein
is alleged by plaintiffs to be such in relation to their
captivity: It was initially ordered by Saddam Hussein, and it
ceased only upon his command.
According to Ambassador Busby, Saddam Hussein, nominally the
"president" of the "republic" of Iraq, is in reality a dictator
of a one-party nation. He is chairman of the party, chief
executive and prime minister, chair of the governing council,
director of the budget, the exclusive appointing authority for
all government offices, and, most importantly, the
commander-in-chief of the armed forces. "Nothing happens with
Iraq," according to Ambassador Busby, "that doesn't have Saddam
Hussein's okay." (Tr. of October 9, 2001, a.m., p. 17). In one
sense Saddam Hussein is more alter ego than agent of Iraq, but
it is also true that he acts for, and in the name of, the nation
he rules and is thus sufficiently its instrumentality for the
purpose of liability for punitive damages under the FSIA. If the
purpose of punitive damages is to punish a wrongdoer and deter
similar wrongdoing in the future, see Anderson, 90 F. Supp.2d
at 114, then to the extent such an award against Saddam Hussein
would be effective at all it would surely operate to like effect
The record does not contain evidence of Saddam Hussein's
wealth, nor (as in other cases) the amount of Iraq's annual
expenditures in support of its terrorist activities.
Nevertheless, upon the premise that Iraq spends no less than
Iran to that end, the Court will adopt the figure employed by
the judges of this district court in cases against the Islamic
Republic of Iran for comparable criminal behavior. All
plaintiffs will, jointly and severally, share an award of $300
million against the defendant Saddam Hussein.
For the foregoing reasons, it is, this 5th day of December,
ORDERED, that the Clerk of Court forthwith enter judgment
against the defendants Republic of Iraq and Saddam Hussein,
jointly and severally, and in favor of the plaintiffs named
below, for compensatory damages in the amounts specified as
Charles Joseph Kolb: $945,000.00.
Apostolos Eliopoulos: $1,160,000.00.
Angela Eliopoulos: $250,000.00.
Bill Rodebush: $900,000.00.
Taleb Nabil Subh: $670,000.00.
Rev. Virgil M. Graham: $1,150,000.00.
Laurie Graham: $668,000.00.
Peter Graham: $418,000.00.
Aaron Graham: $168,000.00.
Jack Frazier: $1,749,000.00.
David Morris: $896,000.00.
Penelope Nabokov: $136,000.00.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that the Clerk of Court forthwith enter
judgments in favor of the aforesaid plaintiffs, jointly and
severally, against the defendant Saddam Hussein, individually,
for punitive damages in the amount of $300 million; provided,
however, that payment of or execution upon the same is stayed
pending proof of the claims of lately-joined coplaintiffs who
may be entitled to share therein by way of declarations not yet
evaluated by the Court; and it is
FURTHER ORDERED, that the record remain open until March 10,
2002, for the receipt of proof of the claims of all remaining
plaintiffs, failing which their claims shall be dismissed