Linde vs Arab Bank

In the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Defendant Arab Bank, PLC, appeals from a judgment entered in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (Cogan,J.), in the stipulated total amount of $100,000,000 following a jury verdict holding the bank liable under the Antiterrorism Act (“ATA”), see 18U.S.C.§2333, for injuries sustained by plaintiffs or their relatives during terrorist attacks in Israel conducted by Hamas.

Arab Bank argues that (1) the jury was not properly instructed on the “international terrorism” element of an ATA claim, (2) the bank was prejudiced by unwarranted discovery sanctions affecting the presentation of evidence, and (3) the trial evidence was legally insufficient to prove causation. We agree that instructional error requires vacatur and remand. We are not persuaded to affirm by plaintiffs’ argument that the error is rendered harmless by either the jury’s finding of causation or Congress’s post‐trial enactment of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (“JASTA”),Pub.L.No.144‐222, 130 Stat. 854 (Sept.28,2016) (codified at 18 U.S.C. §2333 (d) (2)). Nor are we persuaded to reverse by Arab Bank’s sufficiency challenge to proof of causation. A settlement agreement between the parties forgoing retrial in the event of vacatur and remand makes it unnecessary for us to decide whether the bank’s challenges to the causation charge or the district court’s discovery sanctions also warrant vacatur and remand.
VACATED and REMANDED for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.