U.S. Supreme Court heaps more damages on Sudan in embassy bombing cases

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The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a legal setback to Sudan on Monday, ruling that the African nation cannot avoid punitive damages in lawsuits accusing it of complicity in the 1998 al Qaeda bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people.

Siding with hundreds of people hurt and relatives of people killed in the bombings, the justices ruled 8-0 to throw out a lower court’s 2017 decision that had freed Sudan from punitive damages awarded in the litigation in addition to about $6 billion in compensatory damages. Justice Brett Kavanaugh did not participate in the case.

Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote in Monday’s ruling that for claims made under federal law, “Congress was as clear as it could have been when it authorized plaintiffs to seek and win punitive damages for past conduct.”

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