Tag Archive for JASTA

United States Insurance Companies Seeking Justice Against Saudia Arabia & Bin Laden Family Companies

Some insurance companies in the United States are pursuing lawsuits against entities in Saudia Arabia and Bin Laden family controlled companies due to the attacks in the United States that took place on September 11th. The Justice Against Terrorism Act (JASTA) passed in 2016, allowed for this kind of litigation to take place. The insurance companies are seeking over $4 billion in damages and compensation from the defendants. The plaintiffs, who are insurance companies, paid policyholders who suffered personal, business, and property injuries due to the attacks. The direct attacks took place in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington DC. Of course, there were lingering effects people dealt with that insurance companies ended having to cover.

JASTA was a highly contentious piece of legislation that was debated among the legislators, lobbyists, and advocates on both sides. Some critics of the bill argued that national security was at risk should it pass. They said it would leave U.S. military forces open to litigation from foreign citizens and foreign entities. Supporters of the bill argued that the scope was narrow enough in that they were targeting companies and entities that had something or allowed certain transactions which led to the September 11th attacks. The legislation passed and President Obama vetoed it. Congress then overturned it. The bill became law. While there are plans for the families of the victims to pursue litigation, this lawsuit by the insurance companies is the first since JASTA passed. Osama Bin Laden and his Al Qaeda network were behind the September 11th attacks and many of the effected entities are trying to hold his family responsible. They accuse them of facilitating and helping Osama while he was plotting against the United States. So that is why they are going after the Bin Laden family companies.

H.R. 3143: Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act

golden scales of justice
The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act is a bill currently working its way through Congress that would amend the federal judicial code to impose liability on, and grant U.S. District Courts personal jurisdiction over any person who commits-or aids, abets, or conspires with a person who commits-an act of international terrorism that injures a U.S. national. It would also repeal provisions prohibiting civil actions against foreign states or foreign officials for damages related to acts of terrorism.

This bill would make it easier for the families of victims of terrorism to sue financiers of terror, including states. The bill is receiving support from the 9/11 Families United for Justice Against Terrorism organization. Their membership is made up of family members of GovTrack.US, a government transparency website that tracks bills in U.S. Congress and gives a percentage on the likelihood of the bill passing committee and being enacted.

The bill was introduced in 2013 by New York Congressional Representative Peter King. It currently has 18 co-sponsors. The Huffington Post and The Daily Beast have both published stories related to the issue of terror financing and the need for a bill like this.

Photo Credit: StockMonkeys.com via Compfight cc

Written by Lulaine Compere