Richard D. Heideman, as senior counsel of Heideman Nudelman & Kalik, PC, and Noel Nudelman and Tracy R. Kalik are counsel for over one hundred and fifty American plaintiffs against Arab Bank Plc for the facilitation of acts of international terrorism and provision of material support to various terrorist groups involved in the Second Intifada in violation of the Anti-Terrorism Act (“ATA”), which resulted in the death and injury to American nationals.
The Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) of 1992 allows people who were injured by acts of terror abroad to bring civil suits in federal court.Litle was a mass tort consolidation case with 117 plaintiffs who were injured in suicide bombings and attacks in Israel, 40 wrongful death cases, along with 440 family members of those injured or killed. The plaintiffs claimed that Arab Bank knowingly provided financial support to terrorist leaders and the families of terrorist operatives, including suicide bombers. This case marks the first time that a financial institution has been brought to trial – and held liable –under the ATA.
The plaintiffs argued that Arab Bank administered a Saudi-funded universal insurance plan for the benefit of Palestinian terrorists killed, injured, or apprehended by Israeli security forces. For years, branches of the Saudi charity authorized payments ranging from $140 to $5,316 to terrorists and their families. The plaintiffs also argued that Arab Bank should be held liable for every terrorist act committed since the beginning of the Al Aqsa Intifada, a period of escalated Israeli-Palestinian conflict that began in 2000, because the charity provided its clients with financial benefits regardless of whether they were affiliated with terrorist groups.
The parties reached a confidential settlement agreement in August of 2015. The lawsuits were aimed at curtailing the flow of money to terrorist organizations by extending the legal liability beyond terrorists themselves to the financial institutions that aid their actions. The outcome of this trial will undoubtedly encourage stronger consequences for corporations that promote terrorism and violate human rights.