Judge in Virginia Dismisses Families' USS Cole Lawsuit

September 21, 2011 - 12:00 PM

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — A federal judge in Virginia has dismissed a lawsuit that sought an additional $282.5 million from Sudan for the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole.

Relatives of the 17 sailors killed in the bombing filed the lawsuit in April 2010. They claimed Sudan's government provided support for al-Qaida terrorists.

U.S. District Judge Robert Doumar in Norfolk ruled Monday that the plaintiffs can't file a new lawsuit based on the same terrorist incident. Fifty-nine of the 61 plaintiffs had obtained a nearly $8 million judgment against Sudan in an earlier lawsuit.

The 2010 case was based on 2008 law that allows for retroactive punitive-damage awards against nations that sponsor terrorism. Doumar's ruling says Congress exceeded its authority by letting the families bring new claims.

The Virginian-Pilot (http://bit.ly/nQuhIQ) first reported the ruling.