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Federal appeals court overturns $156M verdict in Muslim charity terror case

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit [official website] has overturned a $156 million verdict [JURIST report] awarded in 2004 by a federal jury to the family of a 17-year-old killed in the West Bank against several US-based charities accused of supporting terrorism. In its opinion [PDF text] Friday, the appeals court ruled that the Boim family failed to prove a causal connection between militant group Hamas [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] and the activities of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, the American Muslim Society, and alleged Hamas fundraiser Muhammad Salah. The family's lawsuit was brought under 18 USC 2333 [text], which allows US nationals injured by acts of international terrorism to seek civil remedies in federal court. The appeals court wrote that the verdict should be overturned because the "plaintiffs must be able to produce some evidence permitting a jury to find that the activities of HLF, Salah, and AMS contributed to the fatal attack on David Boim and were therefore a cause in fact of his death."

The case has been remanded to district court. Reuters has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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