Survivors of 9-11 awarded $104 million in damages

  1. I'm a little bothered by this..
    We seize control of the funds and then WE can determine a portion should be awarded to OUR people??!! That doesn't quiet sound just, imo.
    I hope this doesn't mean the survivors will be paid out of funds we have seized or frozen...i'm afraid it does, though.

    This is from AOL, but since they won't allow me to link their site, I've cut and pasted

    NEW YORK (May 8)- A federal judge's finding that there was enough evidence to show Iraq supported Osama bin Laden's terror network and must pay millions in damages is ''a significant victory,'' a lawyer in the case said.

    U.S. District Judge Harold Baer concluded in a decision issued Wednesday that lawyers for the families of two Sept. 11 victims ''have shown, albeit barely ... that Iraq provided material support to bin Laden and al-Qaida'' before the attacks.

    The decision outlines nearly $104 million in damages, and names the former Iraqi government, former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, bin Laden, al-Qaida, the Taliban and the former Afghanistan government as liable.

    James Beasley, a Philadelphia lawyer who brought the case, called the ruling ''a significant victory'' because it represented the first time a judge linked al-Qaida and Iraq in the attacks.

    He said it was unclear how much in frozen Iraqi and al-Qaida assets could be available to satisfy the judgment. To help pay for Iraq's revival, the Bush administration has started to use roughly $1.7 billion in Iraqi funds frozen in 1990.

    The judge wrote that lawyers relied heavily on ''classically hearsay'' evidence, including reports that a Sept. 11 hijacker met an Iraqi consul to Prague, Secretary of State Colin Powell's remarks to the United Nations about connections between Iraq and terrorism, and defectors' descriptions of the use of an Iraq camp to train terrorists.

    Baer said the opinions of the lawyers' experts were sufficient to show that Iraq collaborated in or supported bin Laden's terrorist acts on Sept. 11.

    The judge noted that the experts provided few hard facts, but noted that the experts provided a sufficient basis for a jury to conclude that Iraq provided material support to al-Qaida.

    In January, he issued a default order against the defendants after public announcements of the lawsuits failed to attract a response from them.

    The ruling stemmed from suits brought on behalf of the estate of George Eric Smith, 38, a senior business analyst for SunGard Asset Management, and Timothy Soulas, a senior managing director and partner at Cantor Fitzgerald Securities.

    The case was closely watched by lawyers for plaintiffs in other lawsuits filed after the Sept. 11 attack against Iraq, al-Qaida and others because it was the first to reach the damages phase.

    A 1996 law permits lawsuits against countries identified by the State Department as sponsors of international terrorism.

    AP-NY-05-08-03 1023EDT
  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   curious
    Oh brother. Is this just for two families in the lawsuit in the article? I wasn't sure from reading...

    LOL, well maybe all the people in Iraq who had loved ones killed by Saddam Hussein should get reimbursed too. It was a terrorist nation, right? Where is their lawyer? Oh wait, that would bankrupt the whole country

    And what about the soldiers who were killed in both Afghanistan and Iraq? Or in the terrorist attack on the Cole? Are they just "out of luck"?

    On the other hand, it is interesting to see that the judge was able to definitively link the two together based on hearsay? I thought that wasnt legally admissible, but I don't know much about the law. Does anyone know?
  4. by   fergus51
    I am tired of the lawsuits associated with 9/11. I thought all family members were pretty well compensated financially and don't know why this is continuing. I would suspect the judge is looking at it from a political standpoint.

    Also, why would Iraq be responsible for paying this now? We all know the Iraqi people have been repressed by SH's government for years. So why should the money they have to build a new government be paid out because of what the past dictatorship did? I think it's adding insult to injury to say "Oh, we know SH killed, tortured, and repressed you, but we'll take your money now that he's gone cause we can".