Gill v. Arab Bank, PLC, No. 11–CV–3706.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
Writing for the CourtJACK B. WEINSTEIN
Citation891 F.Supp.2d 335
PartiesMati GILL, Plaintiff, v. ARAB BANK, PLC, Defendant.
Decision Date12 September 2012
Docket NumberNo. 11–CV–3706.

891 F.Supp.2d 335

Mati GILL, Plaintiff,
v.
ARAB BANK, PLC, Defendant.

No. 11–CV–3706.

United States District Court,
E.D. New York.

Sept. 12, 2012.


[891 F.Supp.2d 337]


Peter Raven–Hansen George Washington University Law School, Washington, DC, Gary M. Osen, Aaron Schlanger, Osen LLC, Oradell, NJ, Joshua D. Glatter, Ari Ungar, Osen LLC, Hackensack, NJ, for the Plaintiff.

Kevin Walsh, Steven J. Young, Douglas Walter Mateyaschuk, DLA Piper LLP, New York, NY, for the Defendant.


MEMORANDUM AND ORDER GRANTING IN PART MOTION TO DISMISS

JACK B. WEINSTEIN, Senior District Judge.
+-------------------+
                ¦Table of Contents ¦
                +-------------------¦
                ¦ ¦
                +-------------------+
                
+----------------------------------------------------+
                ¦I. ¦Introduction ¦338 ¦
                +---+------------------------------------------+-----¦
                ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
                +---+------------------------------------------+-----¦
                ¦II.¦Factual Allegations and Procedural History¦344 ¦
                +----------------------------------------------------+
                
+-----------------------------------------------------+
                ¦ ¦A.¦Factual Allegations in Amended Complaint¦344 ¦
                +-----------------------------------------------------+
                
+----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                ¦ ¦ ¦1. ¦April 2008 Attack on Plaintiff ¦344 ¦
                +----+----+---+------------------------------------------------------+-------¦
                ¦ ¦ ¦2. ¦History of Bank and of Hamas ¦344 ¦
                +----+----+---+------------------------------------------------------+-------¦
                ¦ ¦ ¦3. ¦Defendant's Provision of Support to Hamas ¦345 ¦
                +----+----+---+------------------------------------------------------+-------¦
                ¦ ¦ ¦4. ¦Consent Order and the Penalty Paid by Bank's New York ¦347 ¦
                ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦Branch ¦ ¦
                +----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                
+------------------------------------------+
                ¦ ¦B.¦Procedural History ¦348 ¦
                +------------------------------------------+
                
+-------------------------------------------------------------------+
                ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
                +----+-------------------------------------------------------+------¦
                ¦III.¦Law ¦349 ¦
                +-------------------------------------------------------------------+
                
+------------------------------------------+
                ¦ ¦A.¦Motion to Dismiss Standards ¦349 ¦
                +------------------------------------------+
                
+----------------------------------------------------+
                ¦ ¦ ¦1.¦Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction ¦349 ¦
                +---+---+--+------------------------------------+----¦
                ¦ ¦ ¦2.¦Failure to State a Claim ¦349 ¦
                +----------------------------------------------------+
                
+------------------------------------------+
                ¦ ¦B.¦Political Question Doctrine ¦350 ¦
                +------------------------------------------+
                
+----------------------------------------------------+
                ¦ ¦ ¦1.¦General Principles ¦350 ¦
                +---+---+--+------------------------------------+----¦
                ¦ ¦ ¦2.¦In ATA Context ¦351 ¦
                +----------------------------------------------------+
                
+---------------------------------------------------+
                ¦ ¦C. ¦Anti–Terrorism Act and Civil Liability¦352 ¦
                +---------------------------------------------------+
                
+---------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                ¦ ¦ ¦1. ¦Civil Remedy Provision Generally ¦352 ¦
                +----+----+---+-----------------------------------------------------+-------¦
                ¦ ¦ ¦2. ¦Legislative History of Anti–Terrorism Act ¦353 ¦
                +----+----+---+-----------------------------------------------------+-------¦
                ¦ ¦ ¦3. ¦Civil Remedy Provision: Aiding and Abetting Liability¦357 ¦
                +----+----+---+-----------------------------------------------------+-------¦
                ¦ ¦ ¦4. ¦Civil Remedy Provision: Elements of Cause of Action ¦362 ¦
                +---------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                
+----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦a. ¦General Principles and Act Requirement: Claims Two¦362 ¦
                ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦Through Five ¦ ¦
                +----+----+---+---+--------------------------------------------------+-------¦
                ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦b. ¦Mental State: Claims Two Through Five ¦362 ¦
                +----+----+---+---+--------------------------------------------------+-------¦
                ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦c. ¦Causation: Claims Two Through Five ¦366 ¦
                +----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                
+----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                ¦ ¦ ¦5. ¦Act of War Defense: Procedural and Substantive ¦368 ¦
                ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦Considerations ¦ ¦
                +----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                
+------------------------------------------+
                ¦ ¦D.¦Evidentiary Issues ¦377 ¦
                +------------------------------------------+
                
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
                ¦ ¦ ¦1. ¦Consideration of Admissibility at Summary Judgment¦377 ¦
                +----+----+---+--------------------------------------------------+------¦
                ¦ ¦ ¦2. ¦Procedural History ¦378 ¦
                +-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
                
+---------------------------------------------------+
                ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
                +---+------------------------------------------+----¦
                ¦IV.¦Application of Law to Factual Allegations ¦380 ¦
                +---------------------------------------------------+
                
+----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                ¦ ¦A. ¦Political Question Doctrine Does Not Prevent Adjudication ¦380 ¦
                +----+----+----------------------------------------------------------+-------¦
                ¦ ¦B. ¦Aiding and Abetting Assertion Not Viable ¦380 ¦
                +----+----+----------------------------------------------------------+-------¦
                ¦ ¦C. ¦Plaintiff's Other Claims Remain Viable on Present Motion ¦381 ¦
                +----+----+----------------------------------------------------------+-------¦
                ¦ ¦D. ¦Act of War Exception Does Not Require Dismissal on Present¦381 ¦
                ¦ ¦ ¦Motion ¦ ¦
                +----+----+----------------------------------------------------------+-------¦
                ¦ ¦E. ¦Evidentiary Issues to be Considered at Summary Judgment ¦382 ¦
                +----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                
+-----------------------------------+
                ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
                +--+----------------------------+---¦
                ¦V.¦Conclusion ¦382¦
                +-----------------------------------+
                

[891 F.Supp.2d 338]


I. Introduction

This memorandum and order deals with defendant's motion to dismiss on the pleadings, which is granted in part. See Part IV.B, infra. After further discovery, the court will consider defendant's motion for summary judgment. See Scheduling Order, Gill v. Arab Bank, PLC, No. 11–CV–3706 (E.D.N.Y. Aug. 22, 2012), CM/ECF No. 58.

Mati Gill, who possesses American and Israeli citizenship, sues Arab Bank plc (the “Bank”), for money damages. He was wounded in 2008 by gunshots fired from Gaza into Israel. The Islamic Resistance Movement (“Hamas”) claimed “credit” for the shooting. Hamas has been officially characterized by the United States government as a “terrorist” organization. SeeDesignation of Foreign Terrorist Organizations, 62 Fed.Reg. 52,650 (Oct. 8, 1997); Exec. Ord. No. 12,947, 60 Fed.Reg. 5079, 5081 (Jan. 25, 1995); see also Holy Land Found. for Relief & Dev. v. Ashcroft, 219 F.Supp.2d 57, 63 (D.D.C.2002). It is effectively in political and military control of Gaza. See, e.g., Zahren v. Gonzales, 487 F.3d 1039, 1040 (7th Cir.2007), vacated on reh'g on other grounds sub nom. Zahren v. Holder, 637 F.3d 698 (7th Cir.2011).

The plaintiff asserts five causes of action. One of these—the first, depending on a theory of aiding and abetting—is dismissed for the reasons stated below. All of the others will require essentially the same proof of unlawful action, state of mind, and causation. See Part III.C.4, infra.

The Bank has moved, pursuant to Rules 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, to dismiss the amended complaint. A number of complex legal arguments have been raised in support of its motion. It is contended principally that:

1. The court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the case pursuant to the political question doctrine;

2. The plaintiff's claims must be dismissed, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 2336(a), since his injuries were suffered during the course of an armed conflict between military forces;

3. Recovery on an aiding-and-abetting theory is precluded; and

4. The plaintiff has failed to adequately allege all of the elements of a claim under the civil remedy provision of the relevant anti-terrorism statute.

See generally Memorandum of Law of Defendant Arab Bank plc in Support of Its

[891 F.Supp.2d 339]

Motion to Dismiss the Amended Complaint (“Def. Mem.”), Gill v. Arab Bank, PLC, No. 11–CV–3706 (E.D.N.Y. Apr. 9, 2012), CM/ECF No. 21.


The complex factual and legal issues presented preclude disposing of this litigation on defendant's motion directed at the pleadings. See Parts III and IV, infra. Plaintiff's amended complaint, except for his aiding and abetting claim, survives a Rule 12 attack. See Parts III.C.3 and IV.B, infra; see also Part III.C.5, infra. The court has instructed the defendant to file a motion for summary judgment since a factual record is required for a dispositive motion to be properly considered. See June 28, 2012 Hr'g Tr. 35; see also Scheduling Order, Gill v. Arab Bank, PLC, No. 11–CV–3706 (E.D.N.Y. Aug. 22, 2012), CM/ECF No. 58.

Asserted by plaintiff are a variety of claims brought pursuant to the federal anti-terrorism laws. See18 U.S.C. § 2331 et seq. Courts that have addressed claims brought under the statute providing a civil cause of action to American nationals injured by terrorist acts have referred to it generally as the “ATA.” The current version of the applicable civil remedy provision became federal law as part of the Federal Courts Administration Act of 1992. See Boim v. Holy Land Found. for Relief & Dev., 549 F.3d 685, 690 (7th Cir.2008) (en banc) (Posner, J.); Almog v. Arab Bank, PLC, 471 F.Supp.2d 257, 265–66 (E.D.N.Y.2007). The governing statute will be referred to as the “Anti–Terrorism Act” or the “ATA.”

The Bank is alleged to have maintained accounts for and provided financial services to Hamas, its leaders, and its affiliates. See Amended...

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4 practice notes
  • In re Chiquita Brands Int'l, Inc., CASE NO. 08–MD–01916–KAM
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Southern District of Florida
    • 3 Enero 2018
    ...1328 (M.D. Fla. 2015) ; In Re Sea Star Line, LLC, 2016 WL 8861620 (M.D. Fla. 2016).27 See Gill v. Arab Bank, PLC (''Gill I'') , 891 F.Supp.2d 335, 367 (E.D.N.Y. 2012) (Judge Posner's opinion for the Boim en banc majority has been criticized for having essentially omitted from the elements o......
  • Sokolow v. Palestine Liberation Org., No. 04 Civ. 397GBD.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • 19 Noviembre 2014
    ...in civil liability, without the demonstration of a proximate causal relationship to the plaintiffs injury.” Gill v. Arab Bank, PLC, 891 F.Supp.2d 335, 382 (E.D.N.Y.2012) (citations omitted), amended and superseded on other grounds by Gill, 893 F.Supp.2d at 474. Thus, Plaintiffs must demonst......
  • Gill v. Arab Bank, PLC, No. 11–CV–3706.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • 6 Noviembre 2012
    ...state a claim. See Mot. to Dismiss the Am. Compl., Apr. 9, 2012, CM/ECF No. 133. That motion was denied in part on September 12, 2012, 891 F.Supp.2d 335, 2012 WL 4026941 (E.D.N.Y.2012).See Gill I. Only plaintiff's first claim, the aiding and abetting claim, was dismissed on the pleadings. I......
  • Cedar & Wash. Assocs., LLC v. Port Auth. of N.Y. & N.J. (In re September 11 Litig.), Nos. 21 MC 101(AKH), 08 Civ. 9146(AKH).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • 20 Marzo 2013
    ...no relief, and “acts of terrorism,” which can be the basis of a federal lawsuit leading to a monetary recovery. In Gill v. Arab Bank, 891 F.Supp.2d 335 (E.D.N.Y.2012), the plaintiff, an American and Israeli citizen, had been wounded by gunshots fired from Gaza into Israel by members of the ......
4 cases
  • In re Chiquita Brands Int'l, Inc., CASE NO. 08–MD–01916–KAM
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Southern District of Florida
    • 3 Enero 2018
    ...1328 (M.D. Fla. 2015) ; In Re Sea Star Line, LLC, 2016 WL 8861620 (M.D. Fla. 2016).27 See Gill v. Arab Bank, PLC (''Gill I'') , 891 F.Supp.2d 335, 367 (E.D.N.Y. 2012) (Judge Posner's opinion for the Boim en banc majority has been criticized for having essentially omitted from the elements o......
  • Sokolow v. Palestine Liberation Org., No. 04 Civ. 397GBD.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • 19 Noviembre 2014
    ...in civil liability, without the demonstration of a proximate causal relationship to the plaintiffs injury.” Gill v. Arab Bank, PLC, 891 F.Supp.2d 335, 382 (E.D.N.Y.2012) (citations omitted), amended and superseded on other grounds by Gill, 893 F.Supp.2d at 474. Thus, Plaintiffs must demonst......
  • Gill v. Arab Bank, PLC, No. 11–CV–3706.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • 6 Noviembre 2012
    ...state a claim. See Mot. to Dismiss the Am. Compl., Apr. 9, 2012, CM/ECF No. 133. That motion was denied in part on September 12, 2012, 891 F.Supp.2d 335, 2012 WL 4026941 (E.D.N.Y.2012).See Gill I. Only plaintiff's first claim, the aiding and abetting claim, was dismissed on the pleadings. I......
  • Cedar & Wash. Assocs., LLC v. Port Auth. of N.Y. & N.J. (In re September 11 Litig.), Nos. 21 MC 101(AKH), 08 Civ. 9146(AKH).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • 20 Marzo 2013
    ...no relief, and “acts of terrorism,” which can be the basis of a federal lawsuit leading to a monetary recovery. In Gill v. Arab Bank, 891 F.Supp.2d 335 (E.D.N.Y.2012), the plaintiff, an American and Israeli citizen, had been wounded by gunshots fired from Gaza into Israel by members of the ......

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