THE FOREIGN SOVEREIGN IMMUNITIES ACT: THE ROADBLOCKS TO RECOVERY

When U.S. citizens, like photographers and journalists, are killed by acts of terrorism abroad while performing their jobs, it sends shockwaves through the American home front. “[In] the long term, the sudden death of a loved one may manifest itself as ‘a deep inner feeling of pain and anguish often borne in silence.”’1 Thus, the pain and anguish of a loved one may manifest itself as the Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress (IIED) although individuals react differently under like circumstances.2

Foreign nationals face many challenges when filing civil claims, like IIED, in U.S. courts against foreign states.3 Foreign nationals are faced with the difficult task of breaking through jurisdictional roadblocks under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (“FSIA”) in an effort to hold the foreign state liable for conduct that seriously harmed or caused death to a U.S. citizen relative. 4 Remedies, such as the ability to sue a foreign state for supporting terrorist acts, help to maintain uniformity in U.S. courts and conformity with international law litigation.5

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