Jacobsen v. Oliver
- Case Date: 7/29/2003
- Project Name: Protecting America's Freedom: National Security and Defense
The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled this week that victims of Middle East terrorism are not permitted to seek punitive damages against MOIS (the Iranian foreign intelligence agency) based on MOIS's active involvement in Hezbollah's terrorist activities. The decision was a setback for WLF, which filed a brief urging the court to rule that MOIS could be forced to pay punitive damages to victims of its terror. WLF argued that allowing punitive damage awards against government sponsors of terrorism will make it less likely that governments will be willing to provide such support in the future. The case involved David Jacobsen, an American who was kidnapped by the terrorist organization Hezbollah and held hostage for several years in the 1980s in Lebanon. The court held that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act protects government agencies like MOIS from punitive damages claims, even when they have been designated by the U.S. as sponsors of terrorism.
More Information and Downloads:
7/29/2003: Download the Brief
Litigation Update: Court Declines to Allow Terrorism Victims to Sue for Punitive Damages