Leibovitch v. Islamic Republic of Iran, No. 11-1564 (7th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
In 2003, the Leibovitch family was traveling along the Trans-Israel highway near Kalkilya through an area bordering the West Bank. Agents of the Palestine Islamic Jihad crossed from the West Bank into Israel and fired upon the Leibovitchs’ minivan using pistols and a Kalishnikov rifle. The Leibovitchs’ seven-year-old child, an Israeli national, was killed by the gunshots. Her three-year-old sister, an American citizen, survived but was severely injured by bullets that shattered bones in her right wrist and pierced her torso. Two grandparents and two siblings were also in the van during the attack, but survived. In 2008, the Leibovitchs brought suit against the Islamic Republic of Iran and its Ministry of Information and Security under the terrorism exception of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, 28 U.S.C. 1605A, for providing material support and resources to the organization that carried out the attacks. The district court entered default judgment against Iran on the claim for injuries sustained by the U.S. citizen child, but found no jurisdiction over intentional infliction of emotional distress claims by other family members, who are not citizens. The Seventh Circuit reversed and remanded, holding that the Act confers subject-matter jurisdiction over the claims.