In January 2021, lawmakers amended the Justice for United States Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Act, which created the U.S. Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund. These amendments significantly changed eligibility rules. So, if you or a family member or even a deceased family member was the victim of international state-sponsored terrorism, you may be able to draw funds from the USVSST Fund, even if you have been turned down before.
The amount of compensation could be significant. For example, by law, if you or a loved one was a Tehran Embassy hostage between 1979 and 1981, the USVSST Fund pays up to $10,000 per day of captivity. Similar compensation is available for other state-sponsored terrorism victims. The exact amount is up to the fund managers, so make sure you are equipped to present your case as convincingly as possible.
Compensation funds like the USVSST Fund are different from many other civil cases, like VA disability claims. You need a different kind of lawyer to handle compensation fund claims. Our professional team quickly evaluates your claim. Then, one we set out on a course of action, we never stop working for you.
Countries Linked to State-Sponsored Terrorism
The U.S. State Department maintains a list of countries linked to state-sponsored terrorism. Four nations – Cuba, North Korea, Syria, and Iran – are currently on that list. It formerly included Libya, Iraq, and Sudan, but those countries have been taken off the list.
For countries not on that list, you have to prove that they were responsible for international terrorism that caused harm in the United States and that they do not have sovereign immunity. A number of other countries have been linked to state-sponsored terrorism over the years. If you have a final judgement against one of these nations because of international terrorism, no matter how old it is, you might be eligible for these funds.
Some examples include:
- Libya has been successfully sued for the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing in 1988 and for the La Belle Discotheque bombing in Berlin in 1986. It stayed on the list of state sponsors of terrorism until 2006.
- There is an ongoing lawsuit about whether Saudi Arabia was a state sponsor of the September 2001 hijackings. A judge has ruled that immunity does not apply and they can be sued, but has not made a final judgment on whether the Saudi government was involved. If the plaintiffs win, they will be eligible to collect from the USVSST Fund.
Getting that judgment is hard enough. But if you are looking into the USVSST Fund, you already have a final judgment. The problem the USVSST Fund solves is getting it enforced once you have one. The money comes from the U.S. government, but they got it by confiscating assets from state sponsors of terrorism or from people illegally doing business with them. So in a sense, the state sponsors of terrorism do end up compensating the victims.
How to Obtain Compensation
Compensation fund managers are notorious stingy. Since these funds only contain a finite amount of money, they hesitate to pay big awards, even if the victim’s case merits such an award. Furthermore, once the fund runs out of money, the trustees are out of a job. Human nature may cause fund managers to closely question claimants.
The more evidence claimants present, the stronger their cases become. Meeting the minimum qualifications ensures minimum compensation. An attorney must work hard and present a compelling case in a compelling way in order for a victim to receive maximum compensation.
Rely on Experienced Attorneys
State-sponsored terrorism victims could be entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced lawyer, contact the Cameron Firm, P.C. at 800-861-7262 or fill out the contact box to your right.
This article is for educational and marketing purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship.