September 11th, 2001 may have happened 15 years ago but the memory of that tragic day is fresh in the minds of citizens all over the country. Sadly, many of the victims of this horrific act of violence are still suffering. In an effort to help them, new legislation called The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act has been recently passed.
What Is JASTA?
Most of the terrorist hijackers involved in 9/11 identified as Saudi Arabian and just this past year, documents which linked Saudi officials and the attackers were declassified, revealing that funding for the attack may have come from these officials. Despite the fact that Saudi Arabia threatened to sell $750 billion in U.S. Treasury securities if the act was passed, the proposal passed through the Senate without opposition, unanimously through the House of Representatives, and despite the fact that President Obama vetoed it, Congress passed the bill into law.
This act, which went into effect on September 30th, 2016, allows the victims and families of loved ones who died to pursue legal action against and obtain compensation from Saudi Arabia.
The first lawsuit has already been filed against the kingdom of Saudi Arabia which alleges that the kingdom gave al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden material support, by a family whose loved one was killed while working at the Pentagon on 9/11.
What Type Of Compensation Is Available?
These lawsuits have the potential to provide plaintiffs with monetary compensation for a wide variety of losses. When a plaintiff is awarded compensation, this is referred to as “damages”. Damages may cover:
- Medical Expenses: In addition to crush injuries, laceration, burns, broken bones, back injuries, PTSD, and traumatic brain injuries, the victims of 9/11 were also exposed to toxins which could be hazardous to their health. Even with health insurance, many of them found themselves deep in debt.
- Lost Earnings: For many 9/11 victims, months and even years were needed to fully heal their physical and emotional wounds, during which they were unable to work.
- Physical Pain & Suffering: Scarring, continued lasting pain, and disfigurement are common among the survivors.
- Emotional Trauma: Depression, anxiety, and PTSD are just a few of the mental health disorders that thousands suffer from after their experience.
- Funeral & Burial Expenses: If the plaintiffs loved one died as a result of the attack, they may be compensated for the money spent on honoring their passing.
Every case is different and the losses sustained by each plaintiff are different, which is why the damages awarded in each case will vary.
Who Can File?
Again, every case will vary, but it may be possible for the victim, a surviving spouse, child, or parents to file a claim.
If you would like to learn more about JASTA, contact our experienced attorneys. Our team will take you through your legal options step by step and help you get the justice that is so richly deserved.