Sprint Ordered to Pay Terror Victims Money Owed to Iran

Friday, August 12, 2011
Master Sergeant Michael Heiser,, killed in the Khobar Towers bombing
Sprint Nextel Corp. has been ordered by a federal judge to pay more than $600,000 to victims of the June 25, 1996, Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia.
The order arose out of a lawsuit filed by families of those who died in the terrorist attack that the government of Iran was accused of being behind. Plaintiffs have tried unsuccessfully since 2006 to collect nearly $600 million in a default judgment handed down in a U.S. court against the Iranian government, which did not participate in the civil trial.
In an attempt to get the victims some restitution, Judge Royce Lamberth ordered Sprint, which owes $610,000 to an Iranian state telecommunications agency, to pay the money instead to the Khobar Towers’ plaintiffs. Lamberth based his decision on a 2008 statute that allows victims to seize money headed to a country or state-owned agency that owes a terrorism-related judgment.
The bombing at the Saudi housing complex, which was being used by the U.S. military, killed 19 Americans and wounded more than a hundred more.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Judge Orders Sprint to Pay Terror Victims' Families (by Zoe Tillman, Blog of the Legal Times)
Estate of Michael Heiser v. Islamic Republic of Iran (U.S. District Court, District of Columbia) (pdf)


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