NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Relatives of the 17 sailors killed in the attack on the USS Coleare suing Sudan for emotional damages they were denied in aprevious lawsuit.
Sixty-one family members filed the new lawsuit late last week inU.S. District Court in Norfolk, the Cole's homeport and home of theU.S. Atlantic Fleet. They are seeking $282.5 million in damages forpain and suffering.
Three years ago, 33 family members were awarded $8 million incompensatory damages after U.S. District Judge Robert Doumar foundSudan liable for assisting the terrorists who attacked thedestroyer at a Yemini port in 2000. Doumar ruled that the federalDeath on the High Seas Act allowed him to award compensation onlyfor lost wages and earning potential, not for pain andsuffering.
Congress changed the law in 2008, allowing families of terrorismvictims to seek pain and suffering damages.
Sudan, which has denied any responsibility for the attack, didnot fight the original lawsuit but also refused to pay the damages.Interest drove the amount owed to $13.4 million, which eventuallywas paid from Sudanese assets frozen by the U.S. government.
Individual awards ranged from $200,000 to $1.2 million but werelimited to spouses and children.
The new lawsuit lists 24 parents as plaintiffs, along with eightspouses or permanent companions, 20 siblings and nine children.They seek individual awards of up to $10 million.
Lou Gunn, father of Cheronne Gunn, said, "It's not going tobring them back but it's going to make life easier on a lot ofpeople."
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