For tens of thousands of victims, survivors, and families who have suffered incomprehensible losses as a result of the September 11th attacks, the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) and the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) have provided critical compensation and care to help them rebuild their lives. As essential and effective as these two programs have been, one thing that they cannot provide is justice and accountability for those responsible for the tragic events of that horrible day.
Since shortly after the attacks, it has been a widely held belief that Saudi Arabia and individual Saudis provided money, planning, and support to Osama bin-Laden, Al-Qaeda, and the terrorists who conducted the attacks. Efforts to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for its role in the 9/11 attacks recently cleared a major hurdle when a federal judge ruled that a lawsuit brought by victims, families, businesses and insurers against the country seeking billions of dollars in damages can proceed.
U.S. District Judge George Daniels of the Southern District of New York held that the plaintiffs’ allegations “narrowly articulate a reasonable basis” for him to assert jurisdiction over Saudi Arabia under a 2016 federal law known as the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA). Under JASTA, federal court jurisdiction was established over foreign powers in actions brought for injury in the United States caused by an act of terrorism.
9/11 victims and families had filed suit against Saudi Arabia and the Saudi High Commission for Relief in Bosnia and Herzegovina (SHC), alleging that Saudi agents “directly and knowingly assisted the hijackers and plotters who carried out the attacks.” It also alleged that charitable organizations under the control of SHC provided “financial and operational support” to al Qaeda, allowing the group to conduct the attacks.
However, the suit was dismissed because Saudi Arabia claimed it had immunity under federal law. JASTA became law as the suit was being appealed, and the appellate court sent the case back down to district court so it could reevaluate its decision in light of the passage of the law.
That’s exactly what the court did. While it did dismiss the claims against SHC for lack of sufficient factual allegations as to their involvement in the attacks, it also found that allegations for two of the eight individuals mentioned as agents in the lawsuit were “sufficient to create a reasonable basis … to exercise jurisdiction” over Saudi Arabia.
For the victims of that dark September day, this court ruling offers hope that justice may ultimately be done.
Turley Hansen & Rosasco: 9/11 Victim Compensation Attorneys
Supporting 9/11 victims has been the sole mission of Turley Hansen & Rosasco since shortly after the World Trade Center fell. Our extensive experience and deep commitment to 9/11 victims has resulted in the recovery of over $75 million in 9/11 victim compensation on behalf of over 1,200 clients.
To learn more about how we can help you get the resources and compensation you need, please contact Turley Hansen today and request a FREE CLAIM REVIEW with one of our experienced 9/11 lawyers. Call 1-855-WTC-INFO (1-855-982-4636) today. We look forward to assisting you.