Families of 17 sailors killed in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole have new hope for being compensated for their pain and suffering after a federal appeals court reinstated their $282 million lawsuit against Sudan on Thursday.
A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously rejected a lower court's ruling that the families could not seek damage for emotional distress because they had already won an earlier judgment for compensatory damages. U.S. District Judge Robert Doumar had said the plaintiffs could not sue twice for the same terrorist attack.
But the appeals court ruled that a law passed by Congress in 2008 while the first lawsuit was still on appeal specifically allowed the families to file the second complaint.
"It's been a 12-year fight, so this is a major step forward for us. Just tremendous," said Andrew Hall, attorney for the families.