Tuesday, September 26, 2023
Courthouse News Service
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Judge Tosses Suit Over Drone Deaths in Yemen

WASHINTGON D.C. (CN) - A federal judge dismissed a wrongful death suit filed against the federal government on behalf of five people killed during a drone attack in Yemen.

.In a complaint filed in the D.C. Federal Court on June 7, 2015, plaintiffs Ahmed Salem Bin Ali Jaber and Esam Abdullah Absulmahmoud Bin Ali Jaber, claimed the dead were innocent victims of the war on terror, and that the use of remotely controlled drones "violated the laws of war and norms of customary international law."

"Within hours of the strike, it became clear to the bereaved family that government officials knew they had made a mistake ... The official conveyed personal condolences for the wrongful deaths ... but offered no official acknowledgement of or redress for the strike," the complaint said.

But U.S. District Judge Ellen Huvelle tossed the case on Feb. 22, finding that the events underlying it were not in her jurisdiction, that the case posed "non-justiciable" political questions "which would require the Court to second-guess the Executive's policy determination in matters that fall outside of judicial capabilities," and lacked "next friend" standing.

Huvelle said the "next friend" standing rule did not apply in this case because the representatives of the estates are "mentally competent," and 'next friend' standing only applies to habeas corpus cases.

Representatives of the plaintiffs did not respond to a request for comment from Courthouse News.

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