USS Cole families press legal claims against Sudan

Relatives of the 17 sailors killed in the 2000 bombing of the Navy destroyer USS Cole are asking for the right to seek emotional-distress claims against the Republic of Sudan, which they say provided financial support and safe harbor for al-Qaida terrorists. An attorney representing 59 relatives on Tuesday asked a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn a lower court’s ruling that barred the families from seeking punitive damages under state law. Andrew Hall also asked that the panel order the judge to reconsider the case in light of a federal terrorism-victims’ compensation law that passed in 2008, allowing for such awards.

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