Search Site
Law Professors Warn Against Allowing Injured Americans to Sue Saudi Arabia

On Wednesday, April 20, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a federal law allowing American victims of Iranian-sponsored terrorism to sue the nation of Iran in American courts for as much as $2 billion currently held in the central bank of Iran. Now, another bill is making its way through Congress that would allow lawsuits against Saudi Arabia for its alleged involvement in the 9/11 attacks. But two law professors, Curtis Bradley of Duke and Jack Goldsmith of Harvard, believe that allowing such  lawsuits would “violate a core principal of international law,” “jeopardize the effectiveness of American foreign aid,” and undermine the “legitimacy of the United States’ actions in the war on terrorism.” In an April 25, 2016 Op-Ed in the New York Times, the two outlined their objections.

  • International law — With limited exceptions, nations are immune from lawsuits in another country’s courts. The United States benefits greatly from this principle of sovereign immunity since we have a greater presence in foreign countries than any other nation. Creating an exception, even narrowly for nations that support terrorism, could weaken the sovereign immunity the United States enjoys, as other nations reciprocate. Under a weakened sovereign immunity rule, our country would be a high-profile target.
  • American financial and material support — American foreign aid assists nations, such as Israel, in the defense of its borders. It is easy to imagine lawsuits against the United States for our allies’ actions that cause collateral damage to civilians.
  • American direct action in the war on terror — U.S. actions against al-Qaida, ISIS or Syria are “legally controversial abroad,” and could easily be interpreted as violating international humanitarian law.

Under Bradley and Goldsmith’s reasoning, it’s easy to imagine the United States being forced to retreat and retrench around the world. This could create a power vacuum that enables interests hostile to our own to get the upper hand.

Instead of allowing for individual lawsuits against state sponsors of terror, Bradley and Goldsmith suggest that Congress “provide additional compensation for the families of those killed and injured on 9/11.” As attorneys who have worked exhaustively for victims of the WTC attacks, we are determined to see survivors compensated. We agree with Bradley and Goldsmith that fair compensation is Congress’ responsibility. Suggesting that victims should sue Iran or Saudi Arabia, when the U.S. government hasn’t thoroughly investigated those nations’ connection to the events of 9/11, is an abrogation of that responsibility. We urge Congress to honor their responsibility to 9/11 survivors by using the full authority of the U.S. government to hold responsible parties accountable.

If you have questions about your rights as a 9/11 survivor, call Barasch & McGarry at 888-351-9421 or contact our office online.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Compensation available to residents and office workers, teachers and students – not just responders and volunteers
Our Attorneys
  • "Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson handled everything professionally and with patience. They always had time to answer all my questions and did what they promised. Thanks esp to Brian Calamaris Lee London, and Mariya Atanasova. Thank you." - William Collins, FDNY

  • "If I could give them six stars I would...don't even bother talking to anyone else concerning 9/11. The whole team worked night and day to deliver an outstanding settlement. They are honest, hard working and extremely professional. Just make the one phone call and let them do the rest." - Les Margulis, resident in the exposure zone

  • "I had a very good experience with Michael and Mariya. They made the process stress free. I would recommend this firm to anyone seeking assistance with 9/11 related illnesses." - JE Kirwan, worked in the exposure zone

  • "The people at this firm were just great. They were concern with making sure I was taken care of in every way possible. When I was given an award Mr. Barasch didn't think it was a fair amount and appealed the decision which got me a larger award. I am very satisfied with everything they did for me in the past and are willing to do for me and my family in the future." - Bob Wiecezak, FDNY-Retired

  • "Excellent law firm. Lee London and his staff were very responsive and always followed up with phone calls or emails. This firm is a strong example of what caring and personable lawyers are all about." - Letitia Egan, wife of client, volunteer in the exposure zone

  • Deadline Extended to Register for Compensation

    There is still time to apply for significant compensation if you have been diagnosed with any of the 68 cancers that doctors at the WTC Health Program (WTCHP) have linked to the WTC toxic dust. The deadline to apply to the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) is two years from the date that a cancer has been certified by the WTC Health Program — or any other governmental agency. The two-year period to register doesn’t start on the day of a cancer diagnosis. Rather, it starts only when a cancer survivor is made aware their cancer was linked to exposure to the WTC toxins.

    For those who died from their WTC-linked cancers, the two-year period for their family to register starts on the day of the death of the WTC victim.

    Register For Compensation

Please help spread the word about the strict two-year deadline to register a claim

Many people have tried to complete the VCF application on their own, only to learn that it requires answers to hundreds of questions and many documents to download. It would be our pleasure to help you complete the process in order to ensure that you receive the compensation that you are entitled to. Please call us for a free consultation.

Let a knowledgeable attorney help you figure it out

A cancer diagnosis can be terrifying. You undoubtedly have questions about your disease and how you will pay for treatment. Lawyers at Barasch & McGarry ensure you understand the complex requirements and help devise the best strategies for obtaining compensation and appropriate medical care under the Zadroga Act. Contact our law firm online or call 888-351-9421. The initial consultation is free, so it costs you nothing to find out whether a lawyer can help.
  • Barasch & McGarry Personal Injury Websites

  • Subscribe to our Newsletter

  • Contact Us

    Fill out the form below with any questions or info on how to get your free consultation

    Quick Contact Form