SIDEBAR - Supreme Court Permits Retroactive Punitive Damages Against Sudan in Terrorism Cases

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By Austin Songer. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
More than two decades after the U.S. embassies bombings in Tanzania and Kenya, some plaintiffs who alleged that Sudanese support of Al Qaeda contributed to the attacks have won the opportunity to obtain punitive damages against the government of Sudan. The Supreme Court decided 8-0 (with no participation by Justice Kavanaugh) in Opati v. Republic of Sudan that Congress intended to make punitive damages available on a retroactive basis when it updated the terrorism exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) in 2008. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (D.C. Circuit) had decided otherwise, invalidating $4.3 billion in punitive damages and halving the Opati plaintiffs’ award for the embassy bombings. Under Opati, the D.C. Circuit is to reinstate some or all of those punitive damages.

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