United States District Court, District of Columbia
MEMORANDUM OPINION ON RECONSIDERATION
ROSEMARY M. COLLYER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Fraenkel Family sued the Syrian Arab Republic, Islamic
Republic of Iran, and Iranian Ministry of Information and
Security (MOIS), as supporters of Hamas, for the murder by
Hamas of 16-year-old Naftali Fraenkel, son and brother. The
Court ruled for the Fraenkels and awarded money damages. The
Fraenkels appealed the sufficiency and reasoning behind the
damages awards and the D.C. Circuit affirmed in part,
reversed in part, and remanded for this Court to reconsider
solatium damages. This Court has reconsidered and increased
the awards for solatium damages. The Fraenkel Family now asks
again for reconsideration, seeking a further increase in
their damages. The Court will deny the motion.
Court provided an in-depth description of the facts in its
Memorandum Opinion on the original motion for default
judgment and will not repeat it here. See Fraenkel v.
Islamic Rep. of Iran, 248 F.Supp.3d 21 (D.D.C. 2017)
(Fraenkel I). In short, the Fraenkels sued Iran,
Syria, and MOIS on July 9, 2015 after Naftali's murder;
the Court held a two-day hearing on the their Motion for
Default Judgment on December 6-7, 2016; and, after briefing,
on March 31, 2017, the Court issued its Memorandum Opinion
and Order, finding in favor of the Fraenkels and awarding $1
million in pain and suffering damages to Naftali's
estate; $3.1 million in solatium damages to the U.S.-citizen
plaintiffs; $1 million in solatium damages to Abraham
Fraenkel, a citizen of Israel; and $50 million in punitive
damages. See Final Order [Dkt. 40].
Fraenkels moved to reopen the case on the same day the
Court's Final Order issued; the Court denied that motion.
See 4/3/2017 Minute Order. The Fraenkels then moved
to reconsider the damages award; the Court also denied that
motion. See Fraenkel v. Islamic Rep. of Iran, 258
F.Supp.3d 77 (D.D.C. 2017) (Fraenkel II).
Fraenkel II clarified the award by identifying the
specific amounts in solatium damages awarded to each of the
U.S.-citizen family members. See id. at 85.
the Fraenkels appealed, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
District of Columbia Circuit affirmed in part, reversed in
part, and remanded to reconsider the solatium damages. The
Circuit ordered this Court to determine such damages by
applying the relevant factors articulated in Flatow v.
Islamic Rep. of Iran, 999 F.Supp. 1, 30-32 (D.D.C.
1998), and without considering nationality or
“assumption of risk.” Fraenkel v. Islamic
Rep. of Iran, 892 F.3d 348, 357-61 (D.C. Cir. 2018)
(Fraenkel III). On remand, the Fraenkels submitted
supplemental information. See Supp. Mem. [Dkt. 51].
The Court issued its Memorandum Opinion on remand on July 13,
2018, awarding the following solatium damages:
Rachelle Fraenkel - $2, 000, 000
Abraham Fraenkel - $2, 000, 000
Tzvi Amitay Fraenkel - $750, 000
Ayala Chaya Hinda Fraenkel - $750, 000
A.L. Fraenkel - $750, 000
N.E. Fraenkel - $750, 000
N.S. Fraenkel - $750, 000
S.R. Fraenkel - $750, ...