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Case Law Update: Wrongful Death in Terrorism

In Boim v. Holy Land Foundation For Relief and Development, No. 05-1815 (12/3/08) the Illinois appellate court found that the district court did not err in granting plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment in action under 18 USC sec. 2333(a) seeking recovery for death of plaintiff’s son where defendants allegedly provided financial support to known terrorist (Hamas) who caused death of plaintiff’s son. The court rejected defendants’ claim that providing of financial assistance to terrorist group was not act of “international terrorism”, and the District Court could rely on expert opinion on terrorism in Arab world to support plaintiffs’ contention that Hamas was responsible for son’s death, especially where defendants had failed to provide any counter evidence. This Illinois decision will greatly affect wrongful death cases.