On September 28, 2016, Congress enacted the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (“JASTA”). JASTA allows Americans to sue foreign countries, like Saudi Arabia. To be successful, we must prove that the foreign nation was in some way complicit in a terrorist act on American soil.
We know that JASTA permits the families of 9/11 victims to file new lawsuits, and to amend existing lawsuits, naming Saudi Arabia as a defendant. However, there is much that has not been settled. Under the current legislation, the Justice Department can request a stay in any such action pending settlement discussions between the US and Saudi governments. Further, Congress may still amend the law to protect the interests of the United States in cases where our government may be held liable in foreign courts.
There are other issues that will take time to resolve. We do not yet know which classes of victims will be entitled to recover. We do not yet know whether victims who died on September 11th will be treated the same as the first responders and survivors who have subsequently been diagnosed with WTC-related conditions. Regardless, we will fight to protect the interests of all those who suffered a traumatic injury, or who subsequently developed illnesses as a consequence of their exposure at the WTC site.
Ungaro and Cifuni is Disability Counsel to three NYPD unions, and has represented thousands of first responders including NYC Police Officers, Firefighters, and other civil servants with WTC-related claims. We have also represented civilians suffering illnesses as a consequence of their WTC exposure.
We will be representing 9/11 victims, including first responders and survivors, in this matter. If you would like representation, or have any questions about JASTA, please contact us at (212) 766-5800.