The opinion of the court was delivered by: Henry H. Kennedy, Jr. United States District Judge
This action is brought pursuant to the "terrorism exception" of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act ("FSIA"), 28 U.S.C. § 1605(a)(7), arising from the September 19, 1989 bombing of Union des Transports Aeriens ("UTA") Flight 772, over the Tenere Desert in the African country of Niger. The aircraft operating as UTA Flight 772, a DC-10-30 wide-body aircraft owned by Interlease, Inc. ("Interlease"), was en route to Paris, France from N'Djamena, Chad, when a suitcase bomb in the cargo hold exploded, killing all 170 passengers and crew on board. Seven of the passengers were citizens of the United States. The Estates of the seven American decedents, 44 of their immediate family members, and Interlease are the plaintiffs in this case. Defendants are the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and the Libyan External Security Organization ("LESO") (collectively, the "Libyan State Defendants"), and six high-ranking Libyan government officials sued in their personal capacities, Abdallah Senoussi, Ahmed Abdallah Elazragh, Ibrahim Naeli, Abras Musbah, Issa Abdelsalam Shibani, and Abdelsalam Hammouda El Ageli (collectively, the "Individual Libyan Defendants"). All defendants are referred to collectively herein as "Libya" or "Defendants."
On May 11, 2006, this court granted summary judgment as to liability in favor of plaintiffs and on August 13, 2007, commenced a two and one-half day damages hearing. During the contested hearing, plaintiffs presented the live testimony of eight fact witnesses and four expert witnesses, as well as de bene esse deposition testimony of 29 additional fact witnesses. The expert witnesses presented by plaintiffs were Donald Sommer, an expert on aviation accident analysis and aircraft accident reconstruction, Dr. Richard Levy, an expert on the psychological and physiological effects of traumatic events resulting in death, Steven A. Wolf, a principal with LEGG, LLC, an economic and financial consulting company, and Douglas Kelly, the vice-president and chief aircraft appraiser at AVITAS, Inc. Each witness's testimony was credible and reliable in every pertinent respect. Libya did not present any witnesses. Based upon the evidence presented at the damages trial, the court makes the following:
A. The Injuries to the Passengers of UTA Flight 772
1. The fuel in the aircraft that operated as UTA Flight 772 was contained in three places, in the two wings and in the compartment under the fuselage between the two wings. A suitcase bomb exploded in the right forward lower baggage hold of the aircraft about 45 minutes into the flight when it had climbed to approximately 35,000 feet. This caused the airplane to break into four major parts, the nose section, the section between the nose section and the wings, the wing section going back to the tail, and the tail and aft part of the plane.
2. When the bomb exploded, the passengers on the plane experienced "explosive decompression," which happens when the atmosphere within a plane in flight fills instantly with the atmosphere outside the plane. It takes less than one second for the pressures to equalize.
3. Many of the passengers likely survived the bomb explosion and were conscious as they fell to earth from 35,000 feet. Even if some of the passengers temporarily blacked out, they likely would have regained consciousness as they fell since the effects of hypoxia -- lack of oxygen -- are reversible and would have quickly been reduced as oxygen levels rose during each victim's fall to earth.
4. In addition to the initial shock of explosive decompression, a surviving passenger would have experienced the disorienting experience of feeling the temperature instantly drop 129 degrees, from 70 degrees Fahrenheit inside the plane to 49 degrees below zero outside of it. Among other things, this atmospheric change has a very painful physiological effect on the body, particularly if one has trapped gases. These body gases expand and cause extreme discomfort.
5. In addition, the explosion caused shards of metal to fly in every direction, typically embedding themselves into people badly enough to cause pain but not badly enough to kill.
6. Some of the passengers caught on fire from the explosion. As a result, many of the passengers burned alive as they plummeted to earth.
7. Burning to death is extremely painful and does not happen at once. Dr. Levy testified as follows:
[P]eople who are on fire die from lack of oxygen because the fire burns up the oxygen in the atmosphere, the fire burns their upper respiratory passages, the hot gases are at first inhaled, it destroys the lining of their lungs and they cannot exchange oxygen appropriately, and therefore, they basically die of oxygen starvation, which leads to brain damage, and they eventually are unable to maintain necessary functions of life. So certainly many of them [passengers on UTA Flight 772] must have died from fire, but not immediately."
Tr. of Hr'g on Damages ("Tr.") 24:25-25:9, Aug. 15, 2007.
8. Other unpleasant experiences the passengers likely suffered included loss of control over their sphincters and severe choking sensations.
9. Those that did not die from the explosion or the fire died from the impact with the ground at a velocity of 150 to 160 miles per hour.
10. It took 89 seconds to 178 seconds, between one and one-half minutes to three minutes, for the passengers to hit the ground following the explosion. The range of times reflects variations in the passengers' trajectories to the ground, based upon where they were seated on the plane.
11. All 170 people aboard [UTA Flight 772] died a horrific death. The many passengers who likely survived the mid-air explosion experienced horrific terror and excruciating pain for as long as three minutes as they were burned alive and tumbled to the earth. The explosion decompression, fire, and mid-air break-up of the aircraft caused the passengers to suffer extreme terror, painful bodily injury, choking and suffocation, and the tragic realization that their lives would soon terminate.
Estate of Bonnie Barnes Pugh
12. Bonnie Barnes Pugh, a United States citizen, was a passenger on UTA Flight 772. Her Estate was administered in the state of Virginia, where she was domiciled at the time of her death.
13. As the wife of a career diplomat, Mrs. Pugh always was eager to take on the duties of spreading American values and tending to the homemaking needs of the mission of her husband. When her family was posted in Greece, she was active in the Greek-American Woman's Association, a local civic group dedicated to doing good works in the community. When she lived in Mauritania, she was deeply involved with the Peace Corps there. Her daughter Anne testified that in Mauritania, her mother "did as much as she could to make sure that the people who came to work at the embassy felt that they had a bit of a home base." Pls.' Trial Ex. 1, Anne Carey Dep. 13:13-13:16, July 24, 2007.*fn1
14. Mrs. Pugh's estate is represented by her husband, Ambassador Robert Pugh. She is survived by her husband, her father Harvey Mills Coverley (now deceased), her mother Georgia Mae Chisholm (now deceased), her sister Sally Chisholm, and her children, Malcolm Pugh (now deceased) and Anne Carey.
15. Robert Pugh is the husband of Bonnie Barnes Pugh. Ambassador Pugh is a United States citizen currently residing in Vermont and was domiciled in Virginia at the time of his wife's death.
16. Ambassador Pugh is a life-long civil servant, having served his country for more than 30 years, first as a marine, and then as a career foreign service officer and ambassador. As a foreign service officer, he served in foreign countries throughout the world including Turkey, Greece, Iran, and England. During his many posts, his wife of 34 years lived with him and supported his missions.
17. Ambassador Pugh met his wife at the University of Washington. They developed a fast friendship, then a romance, and they married in May 1955. Throughout their life together, Bonnie was a companion and partner. The couple had two children, Malcolm and Anne. During Ambassador Pugh's appointments in Mauritania as Ambassador and Chad, Bonnie accompanied him and assumed the role of an Ambassador's wife, supporting the mission and building an embassy community.
18. Ambassador Pugh's foreign service was not without incident, even before his wife was murdered. In 1983, he was serving as the Deputy Chief of Mission in Beirut, Lebanon, when the United States Embassy was attacked. During the aftermath, both Ambassador Pugh and Bonnie pitched in to rescue the mission. Both were recognized for their valor during this difficult time. Ambassador Pugh received an award from the Ambassador and Bonnie was recognized for her efforts posthumously by her internment in Arlington National Cemetery.
19. At the conclusion of his service in Lebanon, Ambassador Pugh was appointed United States Ambassador to Mauritania. He successfully completed his tour in Mauritania, and then received an appointment to be United States Ambassador to Chad. His wife accompanied him to both posts.
20. When Ambassador Pugh first heard that his wife's plane was missing, his reaction was simple -- "my God, my wife is on that [plane]." Tr. 24:25-25:1, Aug. 13, 2007.*fn2 He then turned his attention to his children, Malcolm and Anne, who were receiving the news back home in Virginia. He counseled them to prepare for the worst. Several hours later, his worst fears were confirmed; a French team found the crash site of UTA Flight 772 and what looked like the result of a bomb. Bonnie's body eventually was found and returned to the United States. Due to her special relationship with the Marine Corps that developed throughout her years serving, in particular, in Africa and in Beirut, Bonnie was interred in Arlington National Cemetery.
21. The tragedy of September 19, 1989, destroyed Ambassador Pugh's life, family, and career. Already a survivor of international terrorism once before, Ambassador Pugh described himself as "[a]drift and devastated." Tr. 33:3. His daughter, Anne, described him as a "shell of a human being." Pls.' Trial Ex. 1, Carey Dep. 40:21-22. Ambassador Pugh noted that this terrorist act "ended" his career as a foreign service officer because he could not serve out his term as ambassador. Tr. 32. This inability to "serve out the tour . . . d[id] not bode well for further assignments." Tr. 32:18-19. He had to resign his ambassadorship, return home from Chad, and eventually retire from the Department of State.
22. Ambassador Pugh succinctly described his life without Bonnie, "lacking my lifetime mate, I frankly didn't know what to do with myself." Tr. 33:3-4.
23. Ambassador Pugh also had to deal with a subsequent tragedy within his family, the suicide of their only son, Malcolm. Malcolm had been especially close to his mother and her loss affected him profoundly. After his mother's murder, Malcolm felt completely alone. Malcolm killed himself approximately three years after her death.
24. Anne Carey is the daughter of Bonnie Barnes Pugh. Anne was domiciled in Virginia when her mother perished and currently resides in New York.
25. She testified that her mother made growing up in the diplomatic corps a unique experience. Her mother "never took [the gift of living abroad] for granted." Pls.' Trial Ex. 1, Carey Dep. 9:22. She "spent considerable time and effort making sure that [her] . . . children got to experience the culture and the opportunity and the sites . . . that any given country . . . had to offer." Id. at 9:22-10:1. Ms. Carey also testified that her mother was a traditional mother who "believed that she wanted to be present each morning and each afternoon when [her children] left for school and when [they] came home from school." Id. at 11:9-11. To her children, Bonnie Pugh "was the center of everything." Id. at 11:22.
26. As Anne grew into adulthood, her mother continued to be a strong influence in her life and she and her mother remained close. Anne remembers times when her mother would visit her in Charlottesville, Virginia and happily stay in her apartment with her college friends. According to Anne, her mother "just enjoyed being there with the people I spent time with. . . . She enjoyed really being a part of my life." Id. at 23:6-9.
27. Anne first learned of the disappearance of UTA Flight 772 from a friend. To Anne, it "was so completely unexpected that it was difficult to even absorb that this could be happening." Id. at 27:19-20. Anne was with her brother Malcolm as the news developed. Eventually, the United States Department of State called the siblings to confirm that their mother was dead. As Anne described the experience, "I went in and touched [Malcolm's] shoulder, and I simply repeated to him what I had been told. And we hugged and we cried, and so it began." Id. at 28:20-22.
28. For Anne, the time immediately following her mother's death was "just a blur of shock and disbelief." Id. at 29:2. Bonnie was traveling back to the United States for the final preparation for Anne's wedding, so "the loss was made more horrific by that fact and the timing of what happened." Id. at 29:7-9. In Anne's words, "It was horrendous." Id. at 29:9.
29. After the initial shock faded, Anne began to have dreams about her mother: "And I know that for not an insignificant period of time, I used to dream about my mother walking in the desert, being there, that somehow she had -- had not been killed by the bomb." Id. at 32:6-10.
30. One of Anne's biggest losses resulting from her mother's premature death is that Bonnie never got to meet Anne's children. Id. at 42.
31. Malcolm Pugh was domiciled in Virginia when his mother was killed. He first learned of the disappearance of UTA Flight 772 from his sister, Anne. The siblings came together to comfort one another as the news developed. They spoke to their father, and tried to "persuade themselves . . . there was some chance that the aircraft had landed for mechanical reasons." Tr. 25:18-20.
32. Malcolm was devastated by the loss of his mother -- "his world, in particular, became a much lonelier place for him upon her death." Pls.' Trial Ex. 1, Carey Dep. 39:19-20; see also, Tr. 34. And he never got over it. "He committed suicide [in] October of 1992," and his sister Anne believes "that the isolation that he felt and the loss that he felt" over his mother's death contributed to his decision to take his own life. Pls.' Trial Ex. 1, Carey Dep. 39:23-24; 39:24-25. Ambassador Pugh testified, "Bonnie always was there for [Malcolm] and trying to lessen the angst of young adulthood he was coming into. He could always turn to her." Tr. 33:21-23.
Estate of Harvey Mills Coverley
33. Harvey Mills Coverly ("Harvey") was the father of Bonnie Barnes Pugh. He was domiciled in California when his daughter perished. He died in February 1994. Harvey's granddaughter, Anne Carey, is the executrix of his estate.
34. Harvey was close to his daughter during her childhood. Bonnie was an only child, and Anne testified that "there was always a connection there as only child to . . . father." Pls.' Trial Ex. 1, Carey Dep. 6:21-23. Although Bonnie's parents divorced, Bonnie and her father maintained that close relationship as she matured. Id. at 7. By the time Bonnie was an adult, she and her father "were [in] avid corresponde[nce] together." Id. at 7:5. Even as she traveled and lived all over the world with her family, Bonnie remained in very close contact with her father. Upon any opportunity she had to return to the United States, she always reserved some time to visit her father in San Francisco.
35. Harvey "felt a tremendous loss" over the death of his daughter. Id. at 41:3-4. The funeral service for her exacerbated that loss. Harvey "had a real sense of who she was and a tremendous sadness over the fact that he would not be able to have an ongoing relationship with her anymore." Id. at 41:17-20. At the same time, however, Harvey was very "proud of the woman that [Bonnie] had been," as evidenced by the outpouring of mourners at her funeral. Id. at 41:14.
36. Sally Chisholm Johnson is the younger sister of Bonnie Barnes Pugh. She currently resides in California and was domiciled in California at the time of her sister's death.
37. Sally grew up with her mother, Georgia Mae, and Bonnie, her half-sister, in California. Sally and Bonnie shared the same mother, but have different fathers. They were raised as "full sisters" their entire lives. She was 35 years old before she learned what "half-sister" even meant. Pls.' Trial Ex. 2, Sally Chisholm Johnson Dep. 11-12, June 19, 2007.
38. Bonnie and Sally were very close to each other and grew up in a small town setting. Sally recalls memories of riding horses together and camping. Bonnie, because she was older, often served as a second mother to Sally. Bonnie both took care of Sally and did fun things with her. Bonnie helped Sally with school and with dance and music lessons. The two were so close that Sally even went on dates with Bonnie. Id. at 15-17.
39. Sally admired Bonnie greatly -- Bonnie was her idol as a child and as an adult. When Bonnie went off to college at Berkeley, Sally missed her very much. They continued a close relationship even when Bonnie moved out of the house. Id. at 18-19.
40. As adults, Bonnie and Sally remained close. Bonnie was charming and pretty, always thoughtful and well regarded. They spent time together when Bonnie and her family would visit California. Sally's children fondly remember Bonnie as a caring aunt who would bring them interesting things from overseas.
41. Sally remembers how she learned that Bonnie's plane was missing on September 19, 1989. She opened her mailbox that was at the end of her country road and saw a small article in the newspaper that said "French airliner missing over Africa." Id. at 25:16-17. Sally almost immediately knew that the plane could be Bonnie's but did not want to say anything to alarm Georgia Mae, their mother, until she had more information. But when she returned home, several family members and her best friend were already there. Her mother already had heard the news. Sally then called Bonnie's children, to try and get more information. She was told that there was not likely to be any good news. A few days later, Anne, Bonnie's daughter, told Sally that the plane had exploded over the desert and there were no survivors. After hearing the news Sally first was in denial, and then went completely numb. Id. at 27-28.
42. At the time of Bonnie's death, Sally was most concerned about the effect of the tragedy on their mother. As Sally put it, when Bonnie died, "a light went out in [mother's] life never to come back." Id. at 28:16-17. Bonnie's death, in fact, did lead to a decline in their mother's health. Sally attended Bonnie's funeral at the Arlington National Cemetery, but their mother could not, because of her failing health. Georgia Mae said, "Go and bury my baby." Id. at 33:7-8.
43. Sally remembers Bonnie as an amazing person with many friends, each of whom treasured his or her relationship with Bonnie, as Sally did. Sally remembers how Bonnie loved nature and birds. Bonnie was thoughtful and generous -- she always made everyone's birthday a special occasion. Sally also described the important role Bonnie played in her life -- when Sally had her first child and when Sally's father and first husband died suddenly. Bonnie traveled to California and stayed with her, caring for her and helping her cope with her great loss. Sally summed up the impact of Bonnie's life this way, "she made us all a little better person." Id. at 37:2-3.
44. Sally remembers Bonnie often, especially on her birthday and during the month of September. She feels as though she was robbed of the opportunity to enjoy old age together with Bonnie -- sharing special moments as only sisters can. Id. at 37-38.
Estate of Georgia Mae Chisholm
45. Georgia Mae Chisholm ("Georgia Mae") was the mother of Bonnie Barnes Pugh. She was domiciled in California in 1989 and died in 1996. Georgia Mae's daughter, Sally Chisholm Johnson, is the executrix of her mother Georgia Mae's estate.
46. Georgia Mae had two children, Bonnie and Sally Chisholm Johnson. They were raised together from an early age in California, despite the fact they had different fathers. Id. at 11. Georgia Mae and Bonnie were "very close." Their early relationship set the stage for their relationship the rest of their lives. Bonnie always took care of her mother. Bonnie made Georgia Mae a cup of Ovalteen every night. Sally describes it as almost a reversal of roles -- Bonnie often "mothered" her mother. Id. at 14.
47. Bonnie and her mother remained very close even into adulthood. Bonnie would send her mother gifts from her many travels, as well as framed embroidery and afghans. Bonnie became, as Sally put it, "the window on the world" for her mother. Id. at 21:1. Bonnie took Georgia Mae to special places and often brought her to Washington, D.C., where they would spend time together sewing and talking. Theirs was a lifelong partnership that ended only when Bonnie was killed.
48. Georgia Mae learned of her daughter's death on September 19, 1989, through a series of news reports and discussions with family members and friends. When she learned Bonnie had been murdered, "a light went out in her life never to come back." Id. at 28:16-17. She was overwhelmingly sad, lamenting, "[m]y mother was blown up in an explosion when I was a baby. And now my baby daughter has been blown up." Id. at. 30:5-6. Although she was devastated by her loss, Georgia Mae, at her advanced age, was not able to attend Bonnie's funeral service in Arlington National Cemetery because of the travel demands involved.
49. As Sally put it, Georgia Mae never recovered from the death of her "favorite" daughter. Id. at 28. Georgia Mae lived for seven years after Bonnie died, and the tragedy had an impact on her both mentally and physically. Georgia Mae's health declined after she heard of the death of her daughter, Bonnie.
Estate of Mihai Alimanestianu
50. Mihai Alimanestianu ("Mihai") was a passenger on UTA Flight 772 . He was born in Bucharest, Romania on April 2, 1919, and became a United States citizen in 1953. His estate was administered in New York where he was domiciled at the time of his death.
51. Mihai met his wife, Ioana Alimanestianu when Ioana was 17. They married in Romania in 1947 when Mihai was 28 and Ioana was 19. They found their way to the United States in 1948. Mihai and Ioana had five children, one of whom died as an infant. The surviving children are Joanna, Nicholas, Irina, and Alexander.
52. Mihai was a mechanical engineer by profession and he did a lot of oil drilling equipment work when he came to the United States. Eventually he became an inventor and held several patents on his inventions. Among these was an invention for an automated parking garage called Speed Park, as well as inventions for an automated people mover and an automated highway. Over time Mihai began "free-lancing" with various engineering companies and was doing "quite well" financially. Tr. 52.
53. In the years immediately before his death, Mihai worked in Africa -- first in Gabon as an engineer helping to build that country's railroad -- and then on a contract with the United States Agency for International Development ("USAID") to help rebuild the infrastructure of Chad. He was returning to the United States in September 1989 because his contract in Chad was over and he was planning to continue working free-lance, redevelop his patents, and develop a parcel of land he owned along the Hudson River in New York into his "dream house." Tr. 52-54, 58-59. Even though he was 70 at the time of his death, Mihai was not planning to retire. He was a very "active" man and "[h]e couldn't have just sat around at home, no, never." Tr. 58:22-23; 59:11-12.
54. Ioana Alimanestianu ("Ioana") is the wife of Mihai Alimanestianu. She lives in New York, and is a United States citizen. Ioana and Mihai were domiciled in New York in September, 1989.
55. Ioana and Mihai met in Bucharest when she was 17. They married two years later when she was 19, and they separately escaped from communist Romania in 1947. They emigrated to the United States the following year and eventually settled in New York. When Mihai died, he and Ioana had been married for 42 years. Ioana described their relationship as follows: "really we were very close, he was my best friend." Tr. 58:17.
56. Mihai and Ioana had five children, one of whom died as an infant. When asked to describe Mihai as a father, Ioana said "he was quite demanding, but at the same time very understanding and very much helpful, quite helpful to get everybody to do what they really wanted to do." Tr. 57:6-8. As a result their children all have university degrees with one a lawyer and the others architects and engineers. "So he was very warm, very much alive, very much with plans, always plans, plans." Tr. 57:11-12.
57. Ioana received word of UTA 772's crash from one of the children. One of them called and said, "[t]he plane has disappeared, we don't know what happened." Tr. 54:21. Ioana did not learn what happened until the next morning when she "found out it was over the Sahara Desert. It had crashed on the Sahara Desert in Africa." Tr. 55:1-3. As Ioana said, "I knew he was on that plane. It -- well, what can I say? . . . It's something that you can't believe that it happens." Tr. 55:7-10.
58. The family had a memorial service on the land Mihai loved overlooking the Hudson River. Although Irina had asked to see the remains in Paris, the French would not let her "because it was horrible." Tr. 55:24. The family received what was left of Mihai's body in New York and buried him on the property next to the Hudson. Subsequently the family donated the land to a land conservancy trust that promised never to develop it.
59. When asked to describe what the family does to remember Mihai on anniversaries and the like, Ioana said, "I don't know what to tell you. He is still the same to me. I mean he is there. And we try to remember him. . We talk about him. I have all his patents in my apartment, and I show them what he was planning and doing." Tr. 59:20-60:4.
60. Joanna Alimanestianu ("Joanna") is the oldest child of Mihai Alimanestianu. She is a resident of New York, New York and Brussels, Belgium. She is a United States citizen, having been born in Texas on June 21, 1950. At the time of her father's death, Joanna was 39 years old and her domicile then, as now, was New York.
61. Joanna is an architect and city planner. She attended Barnard College, the Polytechnic in Switzerland, and has a Masters degree from Princeton University. Pls.' Trial Ex. 3, Joanna Alimanestianu Dep. 7, July 9, 2007. She became an architect "mostly because" of her father. Id. at 10. He encouraged Joanna throughout her life and Mihai is the reason she is something of a "workaholic" because "of his enthusiasm for all these things that we can do while we are still alive." Id. at 11:2-4. Joanna described an instance where he encouraged her in ballet as a young girl, and another instance where he encouraged her through a tough curriculum at the Polytechnic in Switzerland. Id. at 16-18. Joanna described her father as "always very encouraging." Id. at 11:23-24. He was to her and her friends something of a larger than life figure. Id. at 12. He was "absolutely" a reason for Joanna's professional success. Id. at 19:1.
62. Joanna's close relationship with her father continued into adulthood. She described her enjoyment at telling her father about projects on which she was working, and delighting in his interest in those projects and in her family. In fact, he planned to travel on to Brussels after UTA Flight 772 landed in Paris (before heading back to New York) so that he could visit Joanna and her five month old twins that had been born on April 2, the same day on which Mihai was born. Id. at 9, 13. She also was the first of the family to visit Mihai in Africa after he commenced his work there. She greatly enjoyed her time in Africa with her father and marveled at his enjoyment of the country.
63. Joanna heard of the crash of UTA Flight 772 from her husband who told her that he had heard on the news that "the plane that was coming in from Chad had disappeared." Id. at 8:25-9:2. The only thing Joanna could think of was "what if I had told him [when they had talked a few days earlier] . . . come this day" rather than on September 19. Id. at 9:21-22.
64. Following Mihai's death, there was a memorial service in the United States and Joanna represented the family in Paris during various French events and proceedings connected to UTA Flight 772, including the criminal trial of the Libyans. At the close of the nine-year French legal proceedings, Joanna was prepared to present an elaborate "thank you" presentation. However, when she arrived in Paris at the location, she found all she could do was cry. In fact, she could not stop crying at that point nine years after the bombing. Id. at 22-23.
65. Nicholas Alimanestianu ("Nicholas") is the son of Mihai Alimanestianu. He resides in New York and was domiciled there in 1989. He is a United States citizen, born in Houston, Texas on August 29, 1951.
66. Like his father, Nicholas is a mechanical engineer by training, having obtained a degree from New York University. Pls.' Trial Ex. 4, Nicholas Alimanestianu Dep. 7, July 9, 2007. Nicholas worked with his father during his summers and studied engineering because he wanted to work on his father's inventions with him. Nicholas had a close relationship with his father as a child and that close relationship continued into adulthood. Id. at 10. Nicholas described Mihai as "a very good father, caring." Id. at 20:9-10.
67. Nicholas learned of his father's death when he was driving on the Long Island Expressway. His brother Alex called him to say that their father's plane was missing. Id. at 13. His brother also was the one who later confirmed the plane had crashed. Mihai's death greatly affected Nicholas, so much so that he could not speak of the days after the bombing of UTA Flight 772 at his deposition.
68. Nicholas described the memorial service for the victims of UTA Flight 772 in Paris as a "very moving ceremony" at which the President of France spoke. Id. at 16:24. The entire family attended. There was a subsequent ceremony in New York at the Orthodox church, and then later on the family's Hudson River property during which Mihai's ashes were interred.
69. While Mihai's death affected each member of his family, it specifically deprived Nicholas of the opportunity to work with his father on inventions and engineering projects -- something he was looking forward to doing. Id. at 18. Mihai's legacy was that "he left behind a wonderful family and also a great history of his achievements." Id. at 21:24-22:2. In addition, Mihai "did things that would help humanity and help the public. . . . It was a terrible tragedy that someone like that would get killed by a terrorist attack. Just a great loss." Id. at 19:14-25.
70. Irina Alimanestianu is the daughter of Mihai Alimanestianu. She resides in California, was domiciled there in 1989, and is a United States citizen.
71. Mihai was an incredible father and "a larger-than-life figure." Pls.' Trial Ex. 5, Irina Alimanestianu Dep. 7:7, July 9, 2007. Irina described how Mihai had created a home life of constant learning, "full of art [and] . . . . all different kinds of magazines and books." Id. at 7:9-10. Long before it became popular, Mihai taught his children about conservation and environmentalism. He taught them to be mindful of how their conduct would affect the world. They were taught never to litter. Mihai also introduced his children to his passion for planning and land development. He had them help with building roads and landscaping the property he owned in Nyack, New York. The family also vacationed together. They took frequent ski trips, and every summer Mihai took the family to Europe. Id. at 7.
72. When she became older, Irina worked with Mihai in Africa for three summers. During her time in Africa, Mihai's instruction on conservation and environmentalism continued. For instance, Irina was amazed that Mihai designed a suspension bridge with arches large enough for an elephant to walk under so that the bridge would not disturb the delicate ecosystem. Id. at 8.
73. Irina first heard that her father's plane was missing when she received a call from her brother. She immediately feared the worst. While her brother urged the family that "if anybody could survive, it's Mihai," Irina testified that she "somehow . . . just . . . knew" that her father was gone. Id. at 9:24-25; 11:13-14. Indeed, on her way to work that day, she experienced an overwhelming feeling that the day would bring her sadness. Id. at 12.
74. In the weeks and months that followed Mihai's death, Irina was devastated. She could not function normally. All she could do was go to her husband's downtown office building and pace around the garden. Eventually, Irina and her siblings traveled to Paris to participate in the French investigation. The grieving family attempted to view Mihai's body, but the French authorities refused, citing the incomplete and gruesome nature of the remains. Id. at 13-14.
75. Irina has suffered lingering effects of Mihai's death. She cannot watch movies or news programs that feature terrorist attacks or airplane bombings in particular. When she rides an airplane, she feels a compulsion to tell absolute strangers the story of her father's sudden death. Id. at 10.
76. Alexander Alimanestianu is the youngest son of Mihai Alimanestianu. He is and always has been domiciled in New York. Alexander is a United States citizen and was born on January 31, 1959 in Nyack, New York
77. Alexander's youth was filled with great memories of Mihai. Alexander recalls that his father had "an interest in so many . . . things that were fascinating . . . to [Alexander]." Pls.' Trial Ex. 6, Alexander Alimanestianu Dep. 9:16-18, July 17, 2007. Overall, Alexander describes his upbringing with his father as "incredibly interesting[,] . . . rich, broad, . . . [and] international." Id. at 9:21-23. Mihai encouraged Alexander and his siblings to broaden their horizons by learning foreign languages -- in Alexander's case, French -- and traveling to other countries. Alexander's relationship with his father was very strong during his childhood and remained strong when Alexander attended school in Switzerland.
78. Alexander attended the 8th and 9th grades in Switzerland. During these two years, Mihai brought the family to Switzerland for Christmas and other holidays so that they could "have the holidays together and go skiing and travel around." Id. at 12:16-17. After completing 9th grade, Alexander returned to the United States and completed high school at Exeter, in New Hampshire. Alexander remained in close contact with his father while at Exeter.
79. Alexander kept close contact with his father throughout his college years and into his adult life. Mihai owned property in Nyack, New York, and often took Alexander there on weekends. Alexander and his father spent time together planting trees and performing general maintenance. This property was Mihai's "refuge," so Alexander felt privileged to spend "lots of weekends" there. Id. at 13:8; 13:9-10. During college and into adulthood, Mihai continued to encourage Alexander to see the world, and the two of them traveled "quite a bit" around California and Europe. Id. at 13:14. Mihai's job stationed him in Chad and Gabon for several years, and Alexander recalls, "it wasn't easy . . . to stay in touch [with my father at that time], but [I] definitely did." Id. at 15:17-18. Alexander even found a way to stay with his father for several summers in Chad and Gabon.
80. Alexander first heard that UTA Flight 772 was missing when his sister, Joanna, called him at work and informed him that "the plane hasn't landed and [Joanna didn't] know what happened." Id. at 16:17-18. Alexander immediately called his mother, Ioana, to relay the information and then hurried to her apartment. Alexander and Ioana immediately began calling around to gather "as much as [they] could about whether [Mihai] was actually on the plane or not." Id. at 17:6-8. As the afternoon wore on, Alexander and Ioana received "more and more bad information." Id. at 17:13. Alexander only recalls the next few days as a "blur." Id. at 17:15.
81. Upon the official confirmation that Mihai was dead, Alexander and several other family members went to Paris. Since Alexander is a lawyer, Ioana, his mother, "expected [him] to take charge of . . . handling whatever business issues . . . and estate issues there were," as well as the "communication and organiz[ation of] the trip to France." Id. at 18:6-9; 18:9-10. One of the more "gruesome things was trying to identify [Mihai's] remains . . . [W]hat we had to do was call [Mihai's] dentist and get his dental records. . . . [T]hat was not a happy phone call." Id. at 20:25- 21:7. As a result of all of these events, Alexander was suddenly thrust into the "focal point . . . [in] deal[ing] with the mess" that resulted from the murder of Mihai. Id. at 18:12-13. Mihai's family and friends held a memorial service for him in Paris, France, and the family "tried to be together . . . [to] make sense of what was going on." Id. at 19:6-8. Mihai's body was cremated before returning to the United States.
82. The Alimanestianu family held another memorial service for Mihai upon their return to the United States. Alexander and his sister spoke at the service, but one of Alexander's brothers was "too nervous. . . . [and] couldn't speak." Id. at 20:8-9. The family spent the weeks after the service grieving Mihai's death by spending "a lot of family time and time with friends." Id. at19:25.
83. Alexander's contacts in France provided him with updates on the French investigation and he learned that Libya was responsible for the bombing of UTA Flight 772. Alexander was "shock[ed]" by the "murder. . . . pure and simple, whether [the murder] is by a government or by a person . . . it's shocking . . . ." Id. at 23:9-12. On a core level, Alexander felt "confus[ed] to wake up one day and . . . have just a sudden death like that . . . for such a senseless purpose. . . . [I]t is just an act of random violence." Id. at 24:23-25:4.
84. To honor Mihai's memory, Alexander and his family sold Mihai's Nyack, New York property to a Trust for Public Land, which agreed to never develop the land. Additionally, Alexander plans to place a bench on this property in memory of his father. Even these loving tributes to Mihai fail to erase the pain caused by his death. Alexander feels that he and his family have missed out on significant life events that they would have shared with Mihai.
85. Alexander was never able to introduce his wife or children to Mihai. As a result of Mihai's premature death, Alexander's wife and children were stripped of many memories and relationships that they could have built with Mihai. Alexander's children were deprived of the special bond that a grandparent has with a grandchild -- the "relationship and the feeling of the intergenerations of [the] family.. that's what life is about." Id. at 24:16-19
86. Alexander and his family specifically honor the memory of Mihai on September 19 as well as on Mihai's birthday. However, Alexander describes the memory of his father as "a constant thing." Id. at 27:12. Strong emotions and "anxiety" surface when Alexander or his children "get on an airplane. . . . [We] can't fly without worrying." Id. at 27:18-21. Alexander believes that, even if Mihai could look back to his own untimely death, Mihai "wouldn't change his view that people are fundamentally good and the world is a fundamentally good place." Id. at 28:11-13. Alexander feels that he has inherited his father's optimistic spirit, and he "[will never] let something like [his father's death] change his . . . view of the world." Id. at 28:22-24.
Estate of Calin Alimanestianu
87. Calin Alimanestianu was the younger brother of Mihai Alimanetianu. He was domiciled in Florida in 1989, and died on February 12, 2005. Calin's daughter, Simone Desiderio, is the executrix of her father's estate. Calin became a United States citizen in 1961. Simone resides in Florida, and is a United States citizen.
88. Calin was born in Romania in 1922 and grew up with his three brothers, Mihai, Serban, and Constantin. The brothers were all very close from their youth until the time of their deaths. After Calin escaped Romania in the 1950s, he settled in New York near his brother, Mihai. The brothers and their families were always together, including on holidays and other special occasions. Even after Calin moved to Florida in 1973, the families remained very close.
Mihai would visit Calin and Calin's family in Florida quite often, and Calin would bring his family to New York to visit with Mihai, especially during the summers. Mihai was very close to Calin, all of his brothers, and all of his brothers' children. After Mihai's death, Calin and his family continued to spend time in New York with Mihai's family and the families of the other brothers; of course, Mihai was missing during those family gatherings. Pls.' Trial Ex. 7, Simone Desiderio Dep. 10-15, July 19, 2007.
89. Calin was devastated when he heard the news that his brother had been killed in the bombing. He was so devastated that he became physically ill, crying and vomiting. It was an extremely difficult time. After the bombing, Simone found herself visualizing Mihai's death, wondering how he actually died. Whenever she flies, she experiences fear because of Mihai's tragic death. Simone testified that her father Calin had similar reactions and experiences following the bombing -- Calin and Mihai were very close brothers and, because of the bombing, Calin's "big brother was gone." Id. at 19:9. It was a terrible loss to the entire family, including Mihai's brothers.
90. Calin was deeply angered and hurt upon learning that Mihai had been killed as a result of a bombing by Libya. Simone testified that it is difficult to express in words just how deep these feelings were; it was difficult for Calin to speak about it at all for some time. "He just was so sad" and Calin suffered greatly. Id. at 20:19.
91. Calin remembered Mihai often after the bombing -- especially on Mihai's birthday and the birthdays of Mihai's children. Calin also tracked the story of bombing very closely in the news. Every time there was an article or anything about cases related to the bombing, Calin would send it along to all of his children. Id. at 21.
92. Calin looked up to Mihai as a big brother who impressed upon him a love of nature, animals, and humanity. The loss of his brother caused Calin lasting anger and pain. Calin loved his brother and would have wanted to have lived to express that love in connection with this litigation. Id. at 22-23.
Estate of Serban Alimanestianu
93. Serban Alimanestianu was the younger brother of Mihai Alimanestianu. He was domiciled in New York in 1989, and died on December 15, 2005. Serban's wife, Kathy Alimanestianu, is the executrix of her husband's estate. Serban became a United States citizen in the early 1960s. Kathy resides in Massachusetts, and is a United States citizen.
94. Serban was born in Romania in 1920 and grew up with his three brothers, Mihai, Calin, and Constantin. The brothers were all very close from their youth until the time of their deaths. Pls.' Trial Ex. 8, Katherine Alimanestianu Dep. 12-14, July 26, 2007. Serban and Mihai were particularly close because "[t]hey were only 16 months apart, so they did everything together." Id. at 12:3-4. After Serban escaped Romania in the late 1950s, he settled in Texas with his brother, Mihai, and acted as a caregiver to Mihai's children. When Kathy first met Serban, he was living in the same house as Mihai. Later, Mihai's family and Serban's family lived next door to one another for more than 10 years. Id. at 13.
95. Serban "was very sad and devastated and shocked" when he heard the news that his brother had been killed in the bombing. Id. at 17:19. Kathy stayed home from work to care for her grieving husband, who spent most of his waking hours on the phone trying to console Mihai's adult children. After the bombing, Serban would have visions of Mihai and sometimes felt like Mihai was in the room. Id. at 18.
96. Serban remembered Mihai often after the bombing -- especially on Mihai's birthday when he would talk to Mihai's widow. Id. at 20.
97. Serban looked up to Mihai as a big brother and as "kind of the leader of the family." Id. at 16:4. When Mihai died, part of Serban's life was destroyed. The tragedy "took part of [Serban] away." Id. at 22:10-11.
98. Kathy decided to continue Serban's participation in this lawsuit "in memory of my late husband whom I loved, who was very saddened and depressed by Mihai's death, and also in memory of Mihai's family and children, who were really devastated by his death." Id. at 11:15-18.
Estate of Constantin Alimanestiano
99. Constantin Alimanestiano was the younger brother of Mihai Alimanestianu. Constantin's wife, Pauline Alimanestiano, is the executrix of her husband Constantin's estate. Constantin was domiciled in New York in 1989, and was a United States citizen at all times relevant to this litigation.
100. Constantin and Mihai escaped from Romania together. They traveled through France and Canada, and eventually settled in the United States. In the United States, the relationship between Constantin and Mihai remained "very close." Pls.' Trial Ex. 9, Pauline Alimanestiano Dep. 8:10-11, July 9, 2007. As they grew older, they shared a common vision of their careers, as both were "heavily involved in inventing . . . planning, building, always constructing new ideas." Id. at 8:17-19. Mihai and Constantin continued to spend a lot of time together after Constantin's marriage to Pauline. In fact, Constantin and Mihai remained close even when Pauline and Constantin moved to Chicago. Constantin would occasionally surprise his wife and children by declaring, "we have to take this weekend and go to New York [to visit Mihai,]" during which Constantin would be "very happy . . . and [have] wonderful times." Id. at 9:10-11; 9:12-14.
101. Mihai had a close relationship with Constantin's children. "When they were little they enjoyed [Mihai] very much, but as they got older they were very impressed by him" and "he almost had a celebrity status." Id. at 9:19-21; 9:22. Mihai was godfather to all three of Constantin and Pauline's children. Mihai's close relationship with Constantin's children continued into their adulthood. Id. at 10.
102. When Constantin heard the first news accounts of the disappearance of UTA Flight 772, he immediately became worried, saying "this is very bad, because I think that Mihai is scheduled to come home this week." Id. at 10:25-11:2. Pauline reassured him that Mihai was most likely not on UTA Flight 772, and they proceeded to dinner and retired to bed early. In the middle of the night, their daughter Christine called. Pauline testified that Constantin immediately knew the reason for Christine's call. Constantin refused to talk about his brother's death, "ke[eping] all his emotions inside," and showed no visible reaction to the tragic news. Id. at 11:13.
103. Constantin continued to be affected by the death of Mihai and refused to talk about it to anyone for "the first few years." Id. at. 13:17. At the time of Mihai's death, Constantin had been waiting for Mihai to retire so that the two brothers could "put into effect" some of their ideas and programs. Id. at 12:23. Constantin wanted to share his ideas and thoughts with Mihai, as Constantin "very much appreciated [Mihai's] advice and help with his . . . inventions." Id. at 13:12-13. But Constantin lost a significant opportunity due to Mihai's sudden death. Constantin shared his "innermost ideas" with Mihai and that "type of being together . . . was a great source of stability" to Constantin. Id. at 16:11; 16:7-8. He lost not only his older brother, but also his role model. After Mihai's death, Constantin no longer had Mihai as an emotional and intellectual outlet to share his ideas, inventions, and thoughts.
Estate of Mark Edward Corder
104. Mark Edward Corder was a passenger on UTA Flight 772 and was domiciled in Texas at the time of his death.
105. Mark was returning from Chad, Africa where he was working as a senior petroleum geologist for Exxon. As a child, Mark was an altar boy, was in the color guard, and also was a straight-A student in high school. Mark attended college and graduated with a degree in geology from Ball State University in Indiana. He started working in the oil industry for Dresser Atlas. After one year, he was hired by Exxon to work in Exxon's Weybridge, England office out of which Exxon's European and African operations were run. While at Exxon, Mark pursued the company's scientific and technical path, earning promotions on a regular basis. At the time of his death, Mark was earning approximately $75,000 per year in addition to a bonus related to his travel and work assignments in foreign countries. For his work, Mark regularly earned a 35 to 70 percent bonus on his base salary. Tr. 114-16.
106. Mark had no intention to work in any other industry or to change employers. As his wife, Carla, testified, "He loved it. He loved it. That was -- he had no other plans except to look at rocks." Mark also was "very proud to work for Exxon" and had no intention of leaving the company. Tr. 121:14-15; 121:21.
107. Mark's estate is represented by his wife, Carla Malkiewicz. He is survived by his wife, his brother Michael Corder, his sister Therese Coddington*fn3 , and his father, Edward Corder (now deceased).
108. Carla Malkiewicz resides in Conroe, Texas, and is a United States citizen. Mark and Carla were domiciled in Texas at the time of his death.
109. Carla has known Mark since they were children. They grew up on the same street, played baseball together, and rode bikes together. Mark even mowed her grass. Carla remembers that Mark "always had a crush" on her and she still has his baseball mitt from when he was a little boy that has her name written in it. Tr. 116:11-12. Carla does not remember ever not knowing Mark and does not remember "not having him in [her] life." Tr. 117:2.
110. After Mark graduated from college, he and Carla became romantically involved and Mark asked Carla to marry him, telling her: "I'll show you the world." Tr. 118:3. Mark and Carla were married in 1982. It was hard for Carla whenever Mark was away for work -- "[t]hree weeks was a long time to be without him" -- but whenever he came back they shared a "wonderful" and "magical" time together, especially traveling the world. Tr. 122:14-15; 119. Carla has been married three times in her life, but she "only had one soul mate, and that was Mark." Tr. 119:14-15.
111. Carla recalls that Mark was the "star of [his] family" and that everyone looked up to him. Tr. 120:18. Even in the community, she remembers how exciting it was whenever Mark came home to Indiana: "It was just like the lights went on in Indiana when he was there." Tr. 121:1-2.
112. The last time Carla saw Mark was at the airport when he left for his final rotation in Chad. Mark left on Carla's 40th birthday and they had celebrated at a big party the night before. Carla also spoke to Mark a few days later on September 4, their anniversary. On September 19, Carla was waiting for Mark to come home to her in Houston after his rotation had completed. Instead, she received a call from Mark's boss saying that Mark's plane was missing. Carla was volunteering at the YMCA at the time and froze complete, unable to move. She suddenly felt as if she were underwater and did not know how she would get home. She began to shake uncontrollably and was still shaking when she arrived at home. Even after her friend, a nurse, provided her with some medication, she still could not stop shaking. Carla started calling friends and people started coming over, including the wife of Mark's replacement on the rig who spent the night. They discussed hopeful scenarios of how Mark could have survived, but then received the call that the plane was found and there were no survivors. Tr. 124-25.
113. Following Mark's death, Carla recalls her body feeling so heavy that she could hardly move. She had difficulty even getting out of bed, and had to do everything one step at a time: "the tiniest little things were so hard to do." Tr. 126:16-17. Carla tried "just to keep [her] head above the water" during this "awful time" when she had to respond to calls from the State Department and others, locate dental records, and deal with the investigators' inability to identify Mark's body or even to confirm that the body existed. Tr. 127:1; 126-27. When Carla learned that Mark's death was the result of an intentional act, she was "so devastated . . . just so sad." Tr. 127.
114. After the bombing, there were two memorial services for Mark -- one in Houston at Mark and Carla's home and another in Indiana, Mark's home town, where 400-500 people attended. Carla recalled feeling strange arriving at the Indianapolis airport without Mark. Some time thereafter, Mark's body was found and returned to the United States, but Carla was still suffering so greatly just to handle her day-to-day functioning that she "couldn't go through another public ceremony." Tr. 129:18. Instead, Carla went by herself to the airport, watching through the glass as Mark's body came off the plane and thinking about how much time they had spent together in airports. This would be the last time. Carla could not recall how many days, weeks, or months it took for her to come to grips with the fact that Mark was not coming home and that she would never pick him up at the airport again. She was "so sad" and was "really a wreck in [her heart]" having lost her "soul mate." Tr. 130:17-18.
115. The things Carla missed out on because of Mark's murder "are too numerous to even describe" but she knows her life with Mark would have been "wonderful." Tr. 132:12-13; 132:19. Carla still thinks about Mark every day and has particularly difficult days on Marks' birthday and their anniversary. She has undergone grief counseling to help her cope with her loss. Still, Carla testified that she has not been able to "go on with [her] life." Tr. 135:20-21.
116. Therese Coddington is the younger sister of Mark Edward Corder. She resides in Indianapolis and is a United States citizen. At the time of Mark's death he was 35 and Therese was 34. She was domiciled in Indiana in 1989.
117. Therese was the middle child of three, with Mark being eleven months older, born in 1954, and her brother Michael being two years younger, born in 1957. The three Corder children were "very close" growing up. Pls.' Trial Ex. 10, Teresa Coddington Dep. 9:15, May 31, 2007. Although Therese described Mark as a very shy child, she said he grew "out of his shell" in high school and "always wanted to protect [her]." Id. at 10:17; 11:6. She has special memories of camping trips, swimming lessons, and Easters with Mark, and she recalls baking cookies for him and sending them off to college in Pringles cans. Id. at 24-25. Although Therese described Mark as "against public displays of affection," the last time she saw him was at an airport where he gave Therese "a big hug" and said he loved her. Id. at 13:3-4.
118. Therese also has two daughters, ages 29 and 27, who knew Mark when they were children. Mark was very close to them as well, always writing them, sending them presents at Christmas, and otherwise playing with them whenever he was around. Id. at 14-15.
119. On September 19, 1989, Therese first heard that a DC-10 had been lost and at first thought nothing other than "how in the hell do you lose a DC-10?" Id. at 17:21-22. Later in the day, Carla, Mark's wife, tracked Therese down on the phone at Therese's part-time job at a retreat center. Carla told Therese "Mark is on that plane." Id. at 18:7. The rest of the day and into the next few days everyone just waited around hoping for news. Everyone was "in a daze" and "shocked." Id. at 19:14.
120. The family had a memorial service for Mark but it was without his body. Mark's body was returned to his wife Carla at a later date but, as Therese explained, "Carla was in so much pain that she couldn't allow [the rest of the family] to be with her for that. . . . it was very hard, very hard for my ...