While the US and Iraqi governments work to figure out what kind of, if any, criminal charges could be brought against the Blackwater security contractors responsible for the September 16 shooting that killed 17 Iraqi civilians, one man injured in the incident and the families of three of those who died have filed suit in the US against the company, seeking compensatory damages for death, physical, mental, and economic injuries, and punitive damages
Filed in Washington, D.C. federal court Thursday by Talib Mutlaq Deewan and the estates of the deceased men -- Himoud Saed Atban, Usama Fadhil Abbass, and Oday Ismail Ibraheem -- the lawsuit alleges that Blackwater and its affiliated companies violated U.S. law and "created and fostered a culture of lawlessness amongst its employees, encouraging them to act in the company's financial interests at the expense of innocent human life."
The Complaint alleges that Blackwater violated the federal Alien Tort Statute in committing extrajudicial killing and war crimes, and that Blackwater should be liable for claims of assault and battery, wrongful death, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, and negligent hiring, training and supervision.
Mr. O'Neil, Elizabeth M. Burke, and Katherine R. Hawkins of Burke O'Neil LLC, of Philadelphia; Michael A. Ratner and Vincent Warren, of the Center for Constitutional Rights, of New York; and Shereef Hadi Akeel, of Akeel & Valentine, P.C., of Birmingham, Mich.
The defendants include Blackwater USA, Blackwater Security Consulting LLC, The Prince Group LLC, a holding company, and Blackwater founder Erik Prince.
Read the full complaint here. atban_complaint_11_10_07.pdf