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Mar-02-2018 13:45printcomments

Iran Ordered To Pay $920 Million to 1983 Beirut Marine Barracks Bombing Victims

Judgment is among the largest ever issued against a foreign state under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act

Beirut bombing
Image: New York Times front page, Oct 24, 1983.

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - A judgment of $920 million has been obtained against the Iranian government on behalf of more than 80 family members of soldiers who were killed or injured in the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine Barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, as well as Marines/soldiers who were injured in the attack themselves.

The Beirut Marine Barracks bombing, which killed 241 American servicemembers and injured numerous others, was the deadliest state-sponsored terrorist attack against United States citizens before September 11, 2001.

“Nothing will bring back the brave men and women lost in the 1983 bombing, but this judgment is a step towards bringing justice for the victims’ families and the soldiers who survived but carry the mental and physical scars into today,” said Theodore J. Leopold partner and Chair of the Catastrophic Injury & Wrongful Death, Managed Care Abuse, and Unsafe & Defective Products practices and Co-Chair of the Consumer Protection practice at Cohen Milstein.

Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, a leading national plaintiffs’ law firm, filed the lawsuit in 2014 in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, arguing that the victims were due compensation under the exception in the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act that allows citizens to sue foreign countries if they are victims of state-sponsored terror.

Cohen Milstein argued that the attack was carried out by the terrorist organization Hezbollah at the direction and with the support of Iran.

To date, Iran has not participated in the lawsuit, making the ruling a default judgment. However, under the United States Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund, the plaintiffs can receive compensatory damages. The lawsuit is one of several against Iran for participating in state-sponsored terrorism.

“Our clients have endured extreme mental anguish, physical pain, and suffered emotional injury because of Iran’s actions,” said Robert A. Braun, an attorney at Cohen Milstein.

“We are dedicated to delivering the full punitive damages to them and also to contributing to the wave of lawsuits against Iran to hold it accountable for sponsoring these acts of terror.”

“This judgment delivers a measure of long-deserved justice to our clients,” said R. Paul Hart, an attorney at Karsman McKenzie & Hart and co-counsel on the case.

“We are grateful that the Court recognizes that Iran must be held accountable for the obscene act it perpetrated in 1983. These judgments operate to punish and deter terrorist activities. Although there is still much work to be done to compensate our clients, this judgment is a necessary milestone in the process.

"We eagerly move to the challenging next stage of identifying and securing Iranian assets to satisfy these judgments.”

Source: Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC

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yelena hopper March 20, 2018 12:26 am (Pacific time)

It is surely a revolutionary judgement. We have to condemn all kinds of terrorist activities. And the countries which support such heinous crimes have to compensate for the losses of the innocent victims. Keep just judgements coming! 


frontncntr March 14, 2018 1:33 am (Pacific time)

Israel is responsible for 90% of the attacks that we think others did. We've been told so many lies just to protect those terrorists and I can't figure out why? Why do we let Israel make us their bit(h lap dog? It'sbeyond crazy.


Anonymous March 14, 2018 1:29 am (Pacific time)

What about the families of victims from the USS Liberty? That was Israel too. And the USS Cole, as well as both attacks on WTC. The bombing and the planes. And it's more than obvious Bush his cronies were in on it. So why are they still allowed to show their faces in public? Why aren't people listening to the Marines who were actually there, and know for a fact it was Israel? An investigation found the same. What the fu(k is going in this country? There are youtube videos about it with comments from a bunch of the Marines who were there. All people need to do is read them. Iran can get void the judges bullsh!t orders with all the proof that's floating around.


Anonymous March 14, 2018 1:20 am (Pacific time)

That's ridiculous.. It was Israel who did it. Even the Marines knew that right after it happened. This is bullshit to start a war.


annie March 8, 2018 8:08 pm (Pacific time)

Well it sounds to me like we couldnt effect a destruction otherwise, so let's try something new against a sovereign nation When you have hegemony you can bring anything as proof, and under any time limit, and just by default.... Iran ought to bring Israel, Gt. Britain, the US to the Court in the Hague - for state sponsored terrorism - let me see, in Palestine, in Venezuela, in Cuba,in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Philippines 1898, VietNam Is there a time limit?? I mean 1983- it was a civil war. Why did we supply troops, and why was there lax security forces.??? the military knew what their position was so why not defend themselves properly if they were at war..or wasnt it a real war and the Americans wanted to hide it from their citizenry?? If it's a war and we provide troops then it's not terrorism is it?? it's a war if the military is involved, right ??


jerry March 6, 2018 6:30 am (Pacific time)

sounds like total BS to me. So they have proof beyond a reasonable doubt that it was Iran? Or, because Iran wouldn't participate in the trial, they just found them guilty by default? Thats not how courts are supposed to work.

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