Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Strauss v. Credit Lyonnais

October 5, 2006

MOSES STRAUSS ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
CREDIT LYONNAIS, S.A., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Charles P. Sifton (electronically signed) United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiffs, United States citizens, and the estates, survivors and heirs of United States citizens, who have been victims of terrorist attacks in Israel, bring this action against defendant, Crédit Lyonnais, S.A.("Crédit Lyonnais") alleging that defendant is civilly liable to the plaintiffs for damages pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §2333(a) because it (1) aided and abetted the murder, attempted murder, and serious bodily injury of American Nationals located outside the United States in violation of 18 U.S.C. §2332; (2) knowingly provided material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization ("FTO")*fn1 in violation of 18 U.S.C. 2339B; and (3) unlawfully and willfully provided or collected funds with the intention that such funds would be used, or with the knowledge that such funds be used for terrorist purposes in violation of 18 U.S.C. 2339C. Now before this Court is defendant's motion to dismiss all claims pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). For the reasons set forth below the defendant's motion is granted as to the first claim and denied as to the second and third claims.

STATUTORY BACKGROUND

All three of the claims made by plaintiffs derive from section 2333(a) of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1992 which provides civil remedies for the victims of terrorism. That section provides:

Any national of the United States injured in his or her person, property, or business by reason of an act of international terrorism or his or her estate, survivors, or heirs, may sue therefor in any appropriate district court of the United States and shall recover threefold the damages he or she sustains and the cost of the suit, including attorney's fees.

18 U.S.C. 2331(a), in turn, defines international terrorism as activities that:

(a) involve violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or of any State;

(b) appear to be intended --

(i)to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;

(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion;

(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination or kidnapping; and

(c) occur primarily outside the territorial jurisdiction of the United States, or transcend national boundaries in terms of the means by which they are accomplished, the persons they appear intended to intimidate or coerce, or the locale in which their perpetrators operate or seek asylum.

Violations of 18 U.S.C. §2339B and §2339C are recognized as international terrorism under 18 U.S.C. 2333(a). Boim v. Quranic Literacy Institute and Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, 291 F.3d 1000, 1014-1015 (7th Cir. 2002); Linde v. Arab Bank, 384 F.Supp 2d 571, 581 (E.D.N.Y. 2005).

Section 2339B provides that:

Whoever knowingly provides material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization, or attempts or conspires to do so, [is guilty of a crime]. . . To violate this paragraph a person must have knowledge that the organization is a designated terrorist organization . . . has engaged in terrorist activity . . . or that the organization has engaged in or engages in terrorism.*fn2

Section 2339C provides in relevant part that Whoever . . . by any means, directly or indirectly, unlawfully and willfully provides or collects funds with the intention that such funds be used, or with the knowledge that such funds are to be used in full or in part, in order to carry out . . . [an] act intended to cause death or serious bodily injury to a civilian, or to any other person not taking an active part in the hostilities in a situation of armed conflict, when the purpose of such act, by its nature or context, is to intimidate a population or to compel a government or an international organization to do or to abstain from doing any act, shall be punished as prescribed in subsection (d)(1).*fn3 Plaintiffs also contend that liability under 2333(a) may be premised upon a theory of civil "aiding and abetting."*fn4 Plaintiffs point to the RESTATEMENT (SECOND) of TORTS §876 (1979) which provides that:

For harm resulting to a third person from the tortious conduct of another, one is subject to liability if he

(a) does a tortious act in concert with the other or pursuant to a common design with him; or

(b) knows that the other's conduct constitutes a breach of duty and gives substantial assistance or encouragement to the other to so conduct himself; or

(c) gives substantial assistance to the other in accomplishing a tortious result and his own conduct, separately considered, constitutes a breach of duty to the third person.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

The following facts are drawn from the complaint and are presumed to be true for the purposes of this motion pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6).

THE PARTIES

Plaintiffs

Twenty-two plaintiffs are individuals who were themselves injured in thirteen different terrorist attacks that occurred in Israel between March 28, 2001 and August 19, 2003 and who, as a result, experienced physical and mental anguish and emotional distress.*fn5 Nine plaintiffs are the representatives of individuals killed in those attacks.*fn6 The remaining plaintiffs are members of the family of the victims, who have experienced non-physical injuries including anxiety, severe mental anguish, extreme emotional distress and loss of companionship as a result of their relatives' injuries or death.*fn7

The Terrorist Attacks

Plaintiffs identify thirteen separate attacks which caused their injuries. Those attacks are as follows:

1. On August 19, 2003 a HAMAS suicide bomber perpetrated an attack on a Jerusalem bus ("First Attack"). Compl. ¶¶5-6, 521.

2. On June 20, 2003 two unidentified men perpetrated a shooting attack on Israeli highway Route 60 for which HAMAS claimed responsibility ("Second Attack"). Compl. ¶¶101-102, 105, 520.

3. On June 11, 2003 Abdel Madi Shabneh, a HAMAS operative dressed as an Orthodox Jew, detonated a bomb on Egged bus #14A as it drove through the Mahane Yehudah market in Jerusalem ("Third Attack"). Compl. ¶¶140-142, 519.

4. On May 18, 2003 Bassem Jamil Tarkrouri, also dressed as an Orthodox Jew, detonated a bomb on a commuter bus heading towards Jerusalem. HAMAS claimed responsibility ("Fourth Attack"). Compl. ¶¶169-171, 518.

5. On April 30, 2003, a HAMAS suicide bomber, Asif Muhammad Hanif detonated explosives inside Mike's Place, a Tel Aviv restaurant ("Fifth Attack"). Compl. ¶¶215-216, 517.

6. On January 29, 2003 two unidentified masked men perpetrated a shooting attack on Israeli highway Route 60. HAMAS was, on information and belief, responsible for the attack ("Sixth Attack"). Compl. ¶¶229-230, 515.

7. On July 31, 2002 a bomb planted inside the Frank Sinatra cafeteria at Hebrew University's Mount Scopus campus in Jerusalem by Mohammed Odeh exploded. The attack was planned and carried out by HAMAS ("Seventh Attack"). Compl. ¶¶240-244, 513.

8. On May 19, 2002 a suicide bomber detonated a bomb in an open air market in Netanya, Israel. Both HAMAS and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility ("Eighth Attack"). Compl. ¶¶286-287, 512.

9. On May 7, 2002 a HAMAS suicide bomber detonated a bomb in the Sheffield Club, an unlicensed social club and gaming parlor located in Rishon Letzion ("Ninth Attack") Compl. ¶¶293, 297, 511.

10. On March 27, 2002, a HAMAS suicide bomber detonated a bomb in the Park Hotel in Netanya ("Tenth Attack"). C

11. On December 1, 2001 Nabil Halabiya and Osama Mohammad Id Bahr, two HAMAS suicide bombers blew themselves up in a pedestrian mall in Jerusalem. Shortly thereafter, as part of a coordinated attack, a car bomb detonated near the mall. HAMAS claimed responsibility for the car bomb ("Eleventh Attack"). Compl. ¶¶308-309, 499.

12. On August 19, 2001, Izz Ad-Din Shuhail Ahmad AlMasri, a HAMAS suicide bomber detonated a bomb at the Sbarro's Pizzeria in Jerusalem ("Twelfth Attack"). Compl. ¶¶360, 362, 497.

13. On March 28, 2001, Fadi Attallah Yusuf Amer, a HAMAS suicide bomber blew himself up outside a gas station near Kfar Sava ("Thirteenth Attack"). Compl. ¶¶439, 495.

Defendant

Defendant, Crédit Lyonnais is a retail bank with its principal place of business in Paris, France. It conducts business in the United States and maintains an office in Miami, Florida.

Background on HAMAS, the Union of Good and Comité de Bienfaisance et de Secours aux Palestinians a/k/a Comité Bienfaisance pour la ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.