Cohen v. Islamic Republic of Iran

Blank Rome Partner Deborah Greenspan (Picture) was appointed as Special Master by U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to determine the appropriate amount of damages to be awarded to 11 plaintiffs in connection with injuries sustained in a suicide bombing Hamas attack in Jerusalem.

Seven members of the Cohen family (including five small children) were all injured in a suicide bombing while riding as passengers on a public bus in Israel in 2003. The Cohen family (including the parents and siblings of one of the adult victims) filed suit against the Islamic Republic of Iran under the state sponsor of terrorism exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act 28 U.S.C. § 1605A(1)(a).

Subsequently, Ms. Greenspan prepared a 51-page Report and Recommendation of the Special Master (“Report”) that presented factual findings and recommendations on the appropriate amount of damages to be awarded each plaintiff, and addressed legal issues on the propriety and calculation of damages for physical, emotional, and mental injuries; solatium damages; damage awards for infant victims; pre-judgment interest; and punitive damages.

In July 2017, Judge Cooper adopted the factual findings and recommendations in Ms. Greenspan’s Report, which the court described as “comprehensive” and “well-substantiated,” and awarded a nearly $209 million judgment for the victims. See Cohen v. Islamic Republic of Iran, __ F. Supp. 3d __, 2017 WL 3207693 (D.D.C. July 27, 2017).

Involved fees earner: Deborah Greenspan – Blank Rome LLP;

Law Firms: Blank Rome LLP;

Clients: U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia;


Author: Ambrogio Visconti