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Ora Cohen, her then-husband Shalom, and their five children were travelling home in Jerusalem when a Hamas operative boarded their bus and detonated a bomb strapped to his chest, killing 23 people and injuring many more, including every member of the Cohen family. The Cohens, along with several members of Ora's family in the United States, brought suit against the Islamic Republic of Iran and two of its instrumentalities under the state-sponsor-of-terrorism exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), 28 U.S.C.S. § 1605A(a)(1).

Plaintiffs alleged that the Iranian defendants were liable for their injuries as a result of Iran's long-standing provision of material support for Hamas's terrorist activities. Because Iran chose not to appear in the action, Plaintiffs moved for a default judgment.

The United States District Court for the District of Columbia determined that Plaintiffs established both jurisdiction and liability under the FSIA and granted the default judgment to Plaintiffs.  The district court also appointed a special master to prepare a report and recommendation on the imposition of damages.

Lexis Advanced subscribers can access the full opinion at:  Cohen v. Islamic Republic of Iran, 238 F. Supp. 3d 71, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28392, 2017 WL 818208


Author:  Gabriela N. Nolen, Lexis-Nexis Case Law Editor


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