Monday, November 7, 2011

Federal Court Awards $9.3 billion Judgment Against al-Qaida for 9/11 Attacks

By Lic. Edward V. Byrne View Edward V. Byrne's LinkedIn profileView Edward V. Byrne's profile
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In 2003, a group of insurance companies which had been required to satisfy property and casualty claims arising out of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks filed a civil indemnification action in a New York federal court against al-Qaida. The shadowy international organization of course never responded to the lawsuit, and a default judgment was entered against it in 2006.
In recent months a damage hearing was held on the claim, and today a magistrate recommended that judgment be entered against al-Qaida for $9.3 billion USD. The magistrate found the actual damages to be $3.1 billion, but at the plaintiffs' request he tripled them, as allowed by federal law. The magistrate's ruling now goes to a U.S. district judge, who likely will approve it as a matter of course.
Unless assets traceable to al-Qaida are discovered, the judgment will be worth no more than the paper on which it's printed. But civil judgments in the United States never expire, provided they are periodically renewed.

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