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Valore v. Islamic Republic of Iran

March 31, 2010

TERANCE J. VALORE, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Royce C. Lamberth, Chief Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

I. Introduction

This memorandum opinion accompanies the final judgments in the recently consolidated cases of Valore v. Islamic Republic of Iran, No. 03-cv-1959, Arnold v. Islamic Republic of Iran, No. 06-cv-516, Spencer v. Islamic Republic of Iran, No. 06-cv-750, and Bonk v. Islamic Republic of Iran, No. 08-cv-1273. These cases all arise out of the October 23, 1983, bombing of the United States Marine barracks in Beirut Lebanon ("the Beirut bombing"), where a suicide bomber murdered 241 American military servicemen in the most deadly state-sponsored terrorist attack upon Americans until the tragic attacks on September 11, 2001.

The Court will first discuss the complicated background of these cases: the relationship between these cases and the previously decided consolidated cases of Peterson v. Islamic Republic of Iran and Boulos v. Islamic Republic of Iran (collectively, "Peterson"), recent changes made to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), the procedural approach by which recently amended FSIA provisions apply, the judicial notice taken of findings and conclusions made in Peterson and the subsequent entry of default judgments in each case, and a summary of the claims made in each case. Second, the Court will make findings of fact for these consolidated cases. Third, the Court will discuss, relative to each previously separate case, the Court's personal and subject-matter jurisdiction. Fourth, the Court will discuss defendants' liability under both the federal cause of action created by the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act and causes of action under District of Columbia law. Finally, the Court will award compensatory and punitive damages as appropriate.

II. Background

A. Relationship to Peterson, Recent Changes to the FSIA, and Plaintiffs' Procedural Approach

All plaintiffs in these consolidated cases originally brought their individual actions against defendants under 28 U.S.C. § 1605(a)(7), the former state-sponsor-of-terrorism exception to the general rule of sovereign immunity enumerated in the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976, 28 U.S.C. §§ 1330, 1602--1611. Section 1605(a)(7) "was 'merely a jurisdiction conferring provision,' and therefore did not create an independent federal cause of action against a foreign state or its agents." In re Islamic Republic of Iran Terrorism Litig., 659 F. Supp. 2d 31 (D.D.C. 2009) (quoting Cicippio-Puleo v. Islamic Republic of Iran, 353 F.3d 1024, 1027, 1032 (D.C. Cir. 2007)) (Lamberth, J.). It merely opened the door to plaintiffs seeking to bring suit in federal court against foreign sovereigns for terrorism-related claims, which had to be based on state tort law. See id. at 40--48 (providing a historical overview of the FSIA terrorism exception) Further, the FSIA did not permit the awarding of punitive damages against foreign states themselves. Id. at 48.

These cases come to the Court following final judgment in Peterson. See 264 F. Supp. 2d 46 (D.D.C. 2003) (Lamberth, J.) [hereinafter Peterson I]. That case established the liability of Iran and MOIS in the terrorist attack out of which these cases also arise, but did so under § 1605(a)(7), thus reaching "inconsistent and varied result[s]" when various states' tort laws differed. In re Islamic Republic of Iran Terrorism Litig., 659 F. Supp. 2d at 59; see Peterson v. Islamic Republic of Iran,515 F. Supp. 2d 25 (D.D.C. 2007) (Lamberth, J.) [hereinafter Peterson II]. Congress responded to this inconsistency and the unavailability of punitive damages by replacing § 1605(a)(7) with § 1605A, a new terrorism exception that provides an independent federal cause of action and makes punitive damages available to plaintiffs. See In re Islamic Republic of Iran Terrorism Litig., 659 F. Supp. 2d at 58--61 (discussing repeal of § 1605(a)(7) and enactment of § 1605A). Plaintiffs now seek to take advantage of these changes.

Individuals seeking to take advantage of this new cause of action and punitive-damages allowance must proceed under one of three procedural approaches, which are laid out in part in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, Pub. L. No. 110-181, § 1083(2)-- (3), 112 Stat. 3, 342--43. See generally In re Islamic Republic of Iran Terrorism Litig., 659 F. Supp. 2d at 62--65 (discussing retroactive application of § 1605A to cases previously filed under § 1605(a)(7)). First, potential plaintiffs may pursue a case related to a "prior action":

With respect to any action that was brought under section 1605(a)(7) of title 28, United States Code . . . before [Jan. 28, 2008,] relied upon . . . such provision as creating a cause of action, has been adversely affected on the grounds that [such] provision[] fail[ed] to create a cause of action against the state, and as of such date . . . is before the courts in any form . . . , that action, and any judgment in the action[,] shall . . . be given effect as if the action had originally been filed under section 1605A(c) of title 28, United States Code. § 1083(c)(2)(A). Second and alternatively, potential plaintiffs may pursue a case related to a "related action":

If an action arising out of an act or incident has been timely commenced under section 1605(a)(7) of title 28, United States Code, . . . any other action arising out of the same act or incident may be brought under section 1605A of title 28, United States Code . . . . § 1083(c)(3). Third and finally, potential plaintiffs may pursue a stand-alone action, i.e., one not related to any action previously filed under § 1605(a)(7), such that retroactive application of § 1605A is not necessary.

Plaintiffs in these cases all proceed under the second approach. Actions timely commenced under § 1605(a)(7) in this Court that relate to the Beirut bombing include Peterson v. Islamic Republic of Iran, No. 01-cv-2094; Boulos v. Islamic Republic of Iran, No. 01-cv-2684; Valore v. Islamic Republic of Iran, No. 03-cv-1959; Bland v. Islamic Republic of Iran, No. 05-cv-2124; Arnold v. Islamic Republic of Iran, No. 06-cv-516; Murphy v. Islamic Republic of Iran, No. 06-cv-596; O'Brien v. Islamic Republic of Iran, No. 06-cv-690; Spencer v. Islamic Republic of Iran, No. 06-cv-750; and Davis v. Islamic Republic of Iran, No. 07-cv-1302. The consolidated cases before the Court today, therefore, are related to several related cases. By the plain terms of § 1083(c)(3), the plaintiffs in these consolidated cases may therefore proceed under § 1605A.

B. Default Judgment and Judicial Notice of Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law from Peterson

In each of the cases now consolidated, this Court took judicial notice of the findings of fact and conclusions of law made in Peterson. In the orders taking such notice, the Court also issued default judgments against both defendants. Plaintiffs had established their right to relief "by evidence satisfactory to the court," 28 U.S.C. § 1608(e), through "uncontroverted factual allegations, which are supported by . . . documentary and affidavit evidence," Int'l Road Fed'n v. Embassy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 131 F. Supp. 2d 248, 252 n.4 (D.D.C. 2001) (quotation omitted).

A court may take judicial notice of any fact "not subject to reasonable dispute in that it is . . . capable of accurate and ready determination by resort to sources whose accuracy cannot reasonably be questioned." FED. R. EVID. 201(b). Under Rule 201(b), courts generally may take judicial notice of court records. See 21B CHARLES ALAN WRIGHT & KENNETH W. GRAHAM, JR., FEDERAL PRACTICE & PROCEDURE § 5106.4; see also Booth v. Fletcher, 101 F.2d 676, 679 n.2 (D.C. Cir. 1938) ("A court may take judicial notice of, and give effect to, its own records in another but interrelated proceeding . . . ."). Indeed, as has been noted in several other FSIA cases brought in this District, "this Court 'may take judicial notice of related proceedings and records in cases before the same court.'" Brewer v. Islamic Republic of Iran, 664 F. Supp. 2d 43, 50--51 (D.D.C. 2009) (quoting Heiser v. Islamic Republic of Iran, 466 F. Supp. 2d. 229, 267 (D.D.C. 2006) (Lamberth, J.) [hereinafter Heiser I]). At issue is the effect of such notice.

Although a court clearly may judicially notice its findings of facts and conclusions of law in related cases, this Circuit has not directly considered whether and under what circumstances a court may judicially notice the truth of such findings and conclusions. Circuits that have addressed this question have concluded that "courts generally cannot take notice of findings of fact from other proceedings for the truth asserted therein because these are disputable and usually are disputed"; but because "it is conceivable that a finding of fact may satisfy the indisputability requirement," these courts have not adopted a per se rule against such notice. Taylor v. Charter Med. Corp., 162 F.3d 827, 829--30 (5th Cir. 1998); see also Wyatt v. Terhune, 315 F.3d 1108, 1114 n.5 (9th Cir. 2003); Int'l Star Class Yacht Racing Ass'n v. Tommy Hilfiger U.S.A., Inc., 146 F. 3d 66, 70 (2d Cir. 1998); Gen. Elec. Capital Corp. v. Lease Resolution Corp., 128 F.3d 1074, 1082 n.6 (7th Cir. 1997); United States v. Jones, 29 F.3d 1549, 1553 (11th Cir. 1994); Holloway v. Lockhart, 813 F.2d 874, 878--79 (8th Cir. 1987). See generally 21B WRIGHT & GRAHAM, supra, § 5106.4 ("While judicial findings of fact may be more reliable than other facts found in the file, this does not make them indisputable[.]").

This District has followed a similar approach in FSIA cases: judicial notice of truth of findings and conclusions is not prohibited per se, but is inappropriate absent some particular indicia of indisputability. Here, there are no such indicia. With "defendants having failed to enter an appearance," Peterson was decided without the full benefits of adversarial litigation, and its findings thus lack the absolute certainty with which they might otherwise be afforded. Peterson I, 264 F. Supp. 2d at 49. Just as "findings of fact made during this type of one-sided hearing should not be given a preclusive effect," Weinstein v. Islamic Republic of Iran, 175 F. Supp. 2d 13, 20 (D.D.C. 2001) (Lamberth, J.), they also should not be assumed true beyond reasonable dispute. Moreover, because "default judgments under the FSIA require additional findings than in the case of ordinary default judgments," id. at 19--20, the court should endeavor to make such additional findings in each case.

The taking of judicial notice of the Peterson opinion, therefore, does not conclusively establish the facts found in Peterson for, or the liability of the defendants in, these consolidated cases. But "the FSIA does not require this Court to relitigate issues that have already been settled" in previous decisions. Brewer, 664 F. Supp. 2d at 54. Instead, the Court may review evidence considered in an opinion that is judicially noticed, without necessitating the representment of such evidence. Heiser I, 466 F. Supp. 2d at 264 (reconsidering evidence presented in Blais v. Islamic Republic of Iran, 459 F. Supp. 2d 40 (2006) (Lamberth, J.)). In rendering default judgment against defendants, the Court was therefore required to, and did, find facts and make legal conclusions anew. Below, the Court expounds on those findings and conclusions.

C. Summary of Plaintiffs' Claims

In these consolidated cases, plaintiffs bring several types of claims, some under the FSIA-created cause of action and some under District of Columbia law. Under the FSIA, servicemen who survived the attack have brought claims of assault, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, seeking damages for pain and suffering and economic losses;*fn1 the estates of servicemen killed in the attack ("decedents") have brought survival claims, seeking economic damages for pain and suffering by decedents before death;*fn2 estates of decedents have brought claims for wrongful death, seeking to recover for decedents' lost wages and earnings they would have earned but for their deaths;*fn3 and family members of victims have brought claims for intentional infliction of emotional distress, seeking solatium.*fn4 Under District of Columbia law, estates of decedents have brought survival claims, seeking economic damages for pain and suffering by decedents before death;*fn5 and estates of decedents have brought wrongful-death claims, seeking to recover for decedents' lost wages and earnings they would have earned but for their deaths.*fn6 Finally, all plaintiffs have sought punitive damages now available under the FSIA.

III. Facts

Based on plaintiffs' uncontroverted factual assertions in their complaints and with due reference to facts found in Peterson, the Court finds the following:

A. The Relationship Between Hezbollah and Iran

In late 1982 [during the Lebanese Civil War], with the concurrence of the United Nations, a multinational peacekeeping coalition consisting of American, British, French, and Italian soldiers arrived in the Lebanese capital of Beirut. In May of 1983, the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit of the U.S. Marines ("the 24th MAU") joined this coalition.

Following the 1979 revolution spearheaded by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the nation of Iran was transformed into an Islamic theocracy. . . . The post-revolutionary government in Iran . . . declared its commitment to spread the goals of the 1979 revolution to other nations. Towards that end, between 1983 and 1988, the government of Iran spent approximately $50 to $150 million financing terrorist organizations in the Near East. One of the nations to which the Iranian government directed its attention was the war-torn republic of Lebanon.

"Hezbollah" is an Arabic word meaning "the party of God." It is also the name of a group of Shi'ite Muslims in Lebanon that was formed under the auspices of the government of Iran. Hezbollah began its existence as a faction within a group of moderate Lebanese Shi'ites known as Amal. Following the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, the Iranian government sought to radicalize the Lebanese Shi'ite community, and encouraged Hezbollah to split from Amal. Having established the existence of Hezbollah as a separate entity, the government of Iran framed the primary objective of Hezbollah: to engage in terrorist activities in furtherance of the transformation of Lebanon into an Islamic theocracy modeled after Iran.

Peterson I, 264 F. Supp. 2d at 49--51 (footnotes omitted).

During the Peterson trial, several experts testified on Iran's terrorist activities. Patrick Clawson, Ph.D., "a widely-renowned expert on Iranian affairs," testified that in 1983, Hezbollah was "a creature of the Iranian government." Id. at 51. According to Dr. Clawson:

Both from the accounts of Hezbollah members and from the accounts of the Iranians and of every academic study that I'm aware of, certainly at this time, Hezbollah is largely under Iranian orders. It's almost entirely acting . . . under the order of the Iranians and being financed almost entirely by the Iranians.

Id. Dr. Clawson's testimony was corroborated by that of Michael Ledeen, Ph.D., "a consultant to the Department of Defense at the time of the Marine barracks bombing and an expert on U.S. foreign relations, [who] testified at trial that 'Iran invented, created, funded, trained, and runs to this day Hezbollah, which is arguably the world's most dangerous terrorist organization.'" Id. at 51 n.8. Dr. Clawson's testimony was further corroborated by Reuven Paz, Ph.D., "who has researched Islamic groups for the last 25 years" and who testified at trial that Hezbollah "totally relied upon . . . Iranian support" and that at the time of the Beirut bombing, "when Hezbollah was not yet formed as a strong group, it was totally controlled by Iran and actually served mainly the Iranian interest in Lebanon." Id. at 52. Dr. Paz testified further that Hezbollah could not have carried out the Beirut bombing "without Iranian training, without . . . Iranian supply of the explosives . . . , and without directions from the Iranian forces in Lebanon itself." Id.

It is clear that the formation and emergence of Hezbollah as a major terrorist organization is due to the government of Iran. Hezbollah . . . receive[d] extensive financial and military technical support from Iran, which funds and supports terrorist activities. The primary agency through which the Iranian government both established and exercised operational control over Hezbollah was the Iranian Ministry of Information and Security ("MOIS"). MOIS had formerly served as the secret police of the Shah of Iran prior to his overthrow in 1979. Despite the revolutionary government's complete break with the old regime, it did not disband MOIS, but instead allowed it to continue its operations as the intelligence organization of the new government. . . . MOIS acted as a conduit for the Islamic Republic of Iran's provision of funds to Hezbollah, provided explosives to Hezbollah and, at all times relevant to these proceedings, exercised operational control over Hezbollah. [See generally COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS, HEZBOLLAH (A.K.A. HIZBOLLAH, HIZBU'LLAH), http://www.cfr.org/publication/9155 (2009) [hereinafter HEZBOLLAH] ("[Hezbollah] has close links to Iran . . . ."); COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS, STATE SPONSORS: IRAN, http://www.cfr.org/publication/9362 (2007) ("Iran mostly backs Islamist groups, including the Lebanese Shiite militants of Hezbollah . . . .").]

It is clear that MOIS was no rogue agency acting outside of the control and authority of the Iranian government. . . . [T]he October 23 attack would have been impossible without the express approval of Iranian government leaders at the highest level[.]

The approval of the ayatollah and the prime minister was absolutely necessary to carry out the continuing economic commitment of Iran to Hezbollah, and to execute the October 23 attack. Given their positions of authority, any act of these two officials must be deemed an act of the government of Iran.

Id. at 52--53. As Dr. Clawson testified, approval for the attack could only come after "a discussion in the National Security Council which would involve the prime minister, and it would also have required the approval of Iran's supreme religious leader, Ayatollah Khomeini." Id. at 53; see also ANTHONY H. CORDESMAN & MARTIN KLEIBER, CTR. FOR STRATEGIC & INT'L STUDIES, IRAN'S MILITARY FORCES AND WARFIGHTING CAPABILITIES 131 (2007) (noting that MOIS is funded by Iran with "a comparatively large budget" and "operates under the broader guidance of Ali Khamenei").

B. The Beirut Bombing

The complicity of Iran in the 1983 attack was established conclusively . . . [by a] message [that] had been sent from MOIS to [the] Iranian ambassador to Syria . . . . The message directed the Iranian ambassador to contact . . . the leader of the terrorist group Islamic Amal, and to instruct him to have his group instigate attacks against the multinational coalition in Lebanon, and "to take a spectacular action against the United States Marines."

Hezbollah members formed a plan to carry out simultaneous attacks against the American and French barracks in Lebanon.

[A] 19-ton truck was disguised so that it would resemble a water[-] delivery truck that routinely arrived at the Beirut International Airport, which was located near the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, and modified the truck so that it could transport an explosive device. On the morning of October 23, 1983, members of Hezbollah ambushed the real water delivery truck before it arrived at the barracks. An observer was placed on a hill near the barracks to monitor the operation. The fake water[-]delivery truck then set out for the barracks . . . .

At approximately 6:25 a.m. Beirut time, the truck drove past the Marine barracks. As the truck circled in the large parking lot behind the barracks, it increased its speed. The truck crashed through a concertina wire barrier and a wall of sandbags, and entered the barracks. When the truck reached the center of the barracks, the bomb in the truck detonated.

The resulting explosion was the largest non-nuclear explosion that had ever been detonated on the face of the Earth. The force of its impact ripped locked doors from their doorjambs at the nearest building, which was 256 feet away. Trees located 370 feet away were shredded and completely exfoliated. At the traffic control tower of the Beirut International Airport, over half a mile away, all of the windows shattered. . . . The explosion created a crater in the earth over eight feet deep. The four-story Marine barracks was reduced to fifteen feet of rubble.

Peterson I, 264 F. Supp. 2d at 54--58 (footnotes omitted).

"As a result of the Marine barracks explosion, 241 servicemen were killed, and many others suffered severe injuries." Id. at 58. In the immediate aftermath of the explosion, those who could "ran to the rubble and started searching for survivors among the loose hands, heads, legs, arms, and torsos that littered the ruble-strewn ground." ERIC M. HAMMEL, THE ROOT: THE MARINES IN BEIRUT, AUGUST 1982--FEBRUARY 1984, at 330 (1985). In the remains of the barracks, "[h]uge blocks of steel-laced concrete angled in all directions" where "twisted corpses dangled from the cracks." Id. at 352. Many of those who survived "had shredded skin adhering to their lower legs and feet . . . caused by the force of the blast." Id. at 351. The Court need not expand further on the gruesome detail of this horrific attack; several historians and eyewitnesses have contributed to a rich historical record of the tragedy.*fn7

IV. Jurisdiction

The FSIA "is the sole basis of jurisdiction over foreign states in our courts." In re Islamic Republic of Iran Terrorism Litig., 659 F. Supp. 2d at 39. The FSIA concerns both subject-matter jurisdiction and personal jurisdiction. The Court has both.

A. Subject-Matter Jurisdiction

Several sections of the FSIA and related statutes set forth several specific requisites that must be satisfied for the Court to have jurisdiction over the subject matter of this case. These requisites may be broken down into four categories: grant of original jurisdiction, waiver of sovereign immunity, requirement that a claim be heard, and limitations. Plaintiffs have satisfied all subject-matter jurisdictional requisites.

1. Grant of Original Jurisdiction

The FSIA grants U.S. district courts "original jurisdiction without regard to amount in controversy of any [(1)] non-jury civil action [(2)] against a foreign state . . . [(3)] as to any claim for relief in personam [(4)] with respect to which the foreign state is not entitled to immunity." § 1330(a). The FSIA defines a foreign state to include any "political subdivision" or "agency or instrumentality" thereof, § 1603(a), and further defines an agency or instrumentality as "any entity (1) which is a separate legal person, corporate or otherwise[,] . . . (2) which is an organ of a foreign state or political subdivision thereof, or a majority of whose shares or other ownership interest is owned by a foreign state or political subdivision thereof[;] and (3) which is neither a citizen of a State of the United States . . . nor created under the laws of any third country," § 1603(b). In interpreting and applying these statutory definitions, this Circuit employs a core-functions test, under which "an entity that is an 'integral part of a foreign state's political structure' is to be treated as the foreign state itself" while an "entity the structure and core function of which are commercial is to be treated as an 'agency or instrumentality' of the state."

TMR Energy Ltd. v. State Property Fund of Ukraine, 411 F.3d 296, 300 (D.C. Cir. 2005) (quoting Transaero, Inc. v. La Fuerza Aerea Boliviana, 30 F.3d 148, 151 (D.C. Cir. 1994)).

First, no party has sought a jury trial, nor are they entitled to one under the Seventh Amendment in this type of case, Croesus EMTR Master Fund L.P. v. Federative Republic of Brazil, 212 F. Supp. 2d 30, 40 (D.D.C. 2002) ("[C]laims under the FSIA are not eligible for resolution by a jury . . . ."). Therefore, this is a non-jury civil action.

Second, plaintiffs have instituted this action against Iran and MOIS, both of which are considered to be a foreign state. Iran, of course, is the foreign state itself. "MOIS is considered to be a division of state of Iran, and is treated as a member of the state of Iran itself." Bennett v. Islamic Republic of Iran, 507 F. Supp. 2d 117, 125 (citing Roeder v. Islamic Republic of Iran, 333 F.3d 228, 234 (D.C. Cir. 2003); Salazar v. Islamic Republic of Iran, 370 F. Supp. 2d 105, 116 (D.D.C. 2005)) (Lamberth, J.). In other words, MOIS is a political subdivision of Iran. Therefore, this action is against a foreign state as defined by the FSIA.

Third, as discussed infra Part IV.B, the Court has personal jurisdiction over the defendants as legal persons, rather than property. Therefore, this is an action in personam, rather than in rem.

Fourth and finally, as discussed infra Part IV.A.2., Iran and MOIS are not entitled to immunity from this suit.

Accordingly, because this is a non-jury civil action against a foreign state for relief in personam to which the defendants are not immune, the Court has original jurisdiction over these cases.

2. Waiver of Sovereign Immunity

Under the FSIA, "a foreign state is presumptively immune from the jurisdiction of United States courts; unless a specified exception applies, a federal court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction over a claim against a foreign state." Saudi Arabia v. Nelson, 507 U.S. 349, 355 (1993). Because "subject-matter jurisdiction turns on the existence of an exception to foreign sovereign immunity, . . . even if the foreign state does not enter an appearance to assert an immunity defense, a District Court still must determine that immunity is unavailable under the Act." Verlinden B.V. v. Cent. Bank of Nigeria, 461 U.S. 480, 495 n.20 (1983). (As discussed supra Part II.B., defendants have indeed failed to enter an appearance.) Under the FSIA terrorism exception, sovereign immunity is waived when plaintiffs allege (1) that a foreign state (2) committed "an act of torture, extra-judicial killing, aircraft sabotage, hostage taking, or [provided] material support or resources for such an act if such act or provision of material support or resources is engaged in by an official, employee, or agent of such foreign state while acting within the scope of his or her office, employment, or agency," (3) which "caused" (4) "personal injury or death" (5) for which "money damages are sought." § 1605A(1).

First, plaintiffs have brought suit against Iran and MOIS, both of which are considered to be a foreign state. See discussion supra Part IV.A.2.

Second, plaintiffs, in their respective complaints, allege that defendants committed torture, extra-judicial killing, and the provision of material support and resources therefor, providing operational control over and financial and technical assistance to Iranian agents of Hezbollah who constructed, deployed, and exploded the truck bomb, injuring and killing hundreds. Plaintiffs therefore have sufficiently alleged the commission of acts of torture and extra-judicial killing and the provision of material support and resources therefor by defendants.

Third, concerning causation, "there is no 'but-for' causation requirement" for claims made under the FSIA. In re Islamic Republic of Iran Terrorism Litig., 659 F. Supp 2d at 42. In Kilburn v. Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, a case which interpreted the substantially similar § 1605(a)(7) that is now § 1605A, this Circuit noted that in the FSIA, "the words 'but for' simply do not appear; only 'caused by' do." 376 F.3d 1123, 1128 (D.C. Cir. 2004). Adopting the Supreme Court's approach to a different but similarly worded jurisdictional statute, the Circuit interpreted the causation element "to require only a showing of 'proximate cause.'" Id. (citing Jerome B. Grubart, Inc. v. Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co., 513 U.S. 527, 536--38 (1995)). "Proximate cause exists so long as there is 'some reasonable connection between the act or omission of the defendant and the damages which the plaintiff has suffered.'" Brewer, 664 F. Supp. 2d at 54 (construing causation element in § 1605A by reference to cases decided under § 1605(a)(7)) (quoting Kilburn, 376 F.3d at 1128). Here, there are several reasonable alleged connections between the acts of defendants and the deaths of 241 servicemen and physical and emotional injuries suffered by military servicemen and plaintiffs: ...


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