CONTACT: Erin Powers, Powers MediaWorks LLC, for Burke PLLC, 281.703.6000; and David Lerner, Riptide Communications, for the Center for Constitutional Rights, 212.260.5000.
WASHINGTON, June 27 /PRNewswire/ - The U.S. Supreme Court sent a terrible message with its refusal today to hear the case of 250 civilians allegedly tortured and seriously harmed by corporate contractors at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison, according to the detainees’ legal team.
The civilians sued in federal court in 2004, alleging that employees of U.S. corporate military contractors CACI and Titan (now L-3 Services) participated in torture and serious abuses while they were hired to provide interrogation and interpretation services, respectively, at Abu Ghraib and other detention facilities in Iraq.
Attorney Susan L. Burke, of Burke PLLC, said, “This litigation should have been allowed to contribute to the true history of Abu Ghraib. These innocent men were senselessly tortured by U.S. companies that profited from their misery. These men came to U.S. courts because our laws, as they have for generations, allow such claims to be heard here. This was their last chance for justice.”
The civilians’ lawyers asked the Supreme Court to hear the case because a September 2009 appellate decision, which dismissed the suit in a 2-1 decision, gave corporate contractors more protections than U.S. soldiers enjoy and constituted judicial overreaching. The plaintiffs’ brief noted that military investigations had found contractors participated in torture at Abu Ghraib.
Katherine Gallagher, Senior Staff Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, said, “Like the Obama Administration, the U.S. Supreme Court today said that justice for victims tortured by corporate contractors is not worth the Court's time.”
Shereef Akeel, of Akeel & Valentine, P.C., said, “The Supreme Court sent the world a terrible message about justice and democracy.”
The Abu Ghraib victims are represented by Burke PLLC, of Washington, D.C.; Motley Rice LLC, of Mt. Pleasant, S.C.; the Center for Constitutional Rights; and Akeel & Valentine, P.C., of Troy, Mich.
The case is Haidar Muhsin Saleh, et al. v. Titan Corporation, et al., No. 09-1313. Filings in the case are available here.
The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.