Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Thursday, September 1, 2016

FEDERAL APPEALS COURT REVERSES $655m JUDGMENT AGAINST PA AND PLO ON JURISDICTIONAL GROUNDS


The Second Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 61-page opinion, has reversed the District Court's $655.5m judgment, entered against the Palestinian Authority, and the Palestine Liberation Organization. The suit, which was filed under the Anti-Terrorism Act, asserted that the two defendant entities were liable, for a number of terror attacks, in Israel, that killed or wounded US citizens.

The jury verdict, $218.5, was automatically trebled, pursuant to the Act. on appeal, the defendants argued that the Court lacked personal jurisdiction over them. The appeals court found

"In sum, because the terror attacks in Israel at issue here were not expressly aimed at the United States,    and because the deaths and injuries suffered by the American plaintiffs in these attacks  were 'random and fortuitous,' and because lobbying activities, regarding American policy  toward israel are insufficiently 'suit-related conduct' to support specific jurisdiction over these  defendants. Walden, S. Ct. at 1121, 1123." [opinion at 60].

The Second Circuit vacated the judgment of the District Court, and remanded, with instructions to dismiss the case, for lack of personal jurisdiction.  The plaitiffs' counsel has indicated that they will appeal; whether this will be a request for an En Banc hearing, or a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari, presented to the US Supreme Court, was not disclosed.

Readers who wish to review the complete text of the decision, may access it on the Second Circuit website here.

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