Iraqis Launch Legal Attack Against Blackwater

Private security firm Blackwater USA is being sued by family members and a survivor of a shooting incident last month in Baghdad that left 17 people dead.

Scott Horton, a professor at Columbia Law School, says the case will look at whether the contractors had good cause to fire their weapons.

Horton says the Iraqi families and survivors are suing Blackwater in U.S. court because contractors operating in Iraq have blanket immunity granted by the Coalition Provisional Authority. The immunity protects private security contractors from prosecution in Iraqi courts.

The Iraqis are asking for punitive damages, which could be a substantial amount, Horton says.

Horton talks to Alex Cohen about the lawsuit and legal precedents that could affect its outcome.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.