Osen LLC (together with Turner & Associates, P.A.) obtained a $30,000,000 judgment on behalf of Mati Gill, an American injured during an Iranian-sponsored terrorist attack perpetrated by the U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization Hamas.
The case, captioned Gill v. Iran, alleges that Iran has provided longstanding, substantial financial and logistical support to Hamas predicated on Hamas’s agreement to commit terrorist acts against Jews in Israel. The Complaint further alleges that Hamas has perpetrated numerous terror attacks against Israeli targets, including the April 4, 2008 shooting attack on Mr. Gill, at the time an aide to Israel’s Public Security Minister. In support of his motion for default judgment, Mr. Gill proferred extensive expert testimony establishing Hamas’s responsibility for the attack and Iran’s prodigious support for Hamas.
The Complaint was brought under the Terrorism Exception of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), which is the legal basis for asserting jurisdiction over foreign states that are designated as State Sponsors of Terrorism. To be eligible to bring a lawsuit against one of the countries on the list, a plaintiff must be seeking money damages for personal injuries or death caused by (1) an act of torture, (2) extrajudicial killing, (3) aircraft sabotage, (4) hostage taking, or (5) the provision of material support or resources for one of those four acts.
In its March 31, 2017 Order, the Court ruled that the Terrorism Exception’s text and history supported the conclusion that the term “extrajudicial killing” in the FSIA statute included within its meaning acts of attempted extrajudicial killing. The Court further ruled that Mr. Gill’s injury met the law’s jurisdictional requirements. Lastly, the Court also found that the “plaintiff provided sufficient evidence to establish that Iran is vicariously liable for assault and battery under the Act because it engaged in a civil conspiracy with Hamas to commit terrorist activities, and Hamas is responsible for the attempted extrajudicial killing that injured the plaintiff.”