Press Releases

Iran Ordered to Pay $239 Million to Victims and Families of the 1983 Beirut Marine Barracks Bombing

Cohen Milstein

June 12, 2024

Third judgment against Iran brings total damages to more than $1.5 billion for its alleged involvement in the 1983 bombing.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Honorable Carl J. Nichols of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia entered a final judgment, requiring the Islamic Republic of Iran to pay $239 million to 25 military servicemembers and relatives who were injured or killed in the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine Barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, carried out by Hezbollah, a terrorist organization, at the direction and with the support of Iran. The Beirut Marine Barracks Bombing, which killed 241 American servicemembers and injured numerous others, was the deadliest state-sponsored terrorist attack against United States citizens before September 11, 2001.

This is the third judgment the court has entered in three cases brought by Cohen Milstein and Karsman McKenzie & Hart on behalf of plaintiffs under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act against Iran for its role in the Beirut Marine Barracks Bombing. In 2018, the same court ordered Iran to pay $920 million in total damages in the first case that was brought in 2014. In total, Cohen Milstein and Karsman McKenzie & Hart have obtained more than $1.5 billion in total judgments for more than 150 U.S. military service members who were killed or injured in the 1983 bombing and their relatives.

“We have been in litigation against Iran for this horrific terrorist act for well over 10 years. I am grateful to the court in continuing to hold Iran accountable and bringing some semblance of justice to the victims’ families and the soldiers who survived,” said Robert Braun, a partner at Cohen Milstein overseeing the litigation. “Nothing will bring back the brave men and women lost in the 1983 bombing, but this judgment will bring a measure of relief.”

The plaintiffs filed this most recent lawsuit, Encinas, et al. v. Islamic Republic of Iran, in 2018, bringing claims under the state-sponsored terrorism exception in the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, which allows citizens to sue foreign countries sponsoring terrorism.

“I am pleased to see justice done and Iran held accountable for sponsoring acts of terror. If nothing else, these three Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act judgments are an important testament to the strength of the United States justice system in holding bad foreign actors accountable to the U.S. citizens they harm no matter what soil their feet stand on,” Ted Leopold, co-chair of the firm’s Complex Tort and Consumer Protection practices.

To date, Iran has not participated in these lawsuits, resulting in default judgments. However, the plaintiffs can receive compensatory damages from the United States Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund.

“While we are grateful to the Court for holding Iran accountable for the horrific act it perpetrated in 1983, we acknowledge that much more work needs to be done to ensure our clients are fully compensated,” said R. Paul Hart, a partner at Karsman McKenzie & Hart and co-counsel on the case.”

The three cases are Relvas, et al. v. Islamic Republic of Iran, et al., filed in 2014, DiBenedetto, et al. v. Islamic Republic of Iran, et al., filed in 2016; and Encinas, et al. v. Islamic Republic of Iran, et al., filed in 2018. Plaintiffs are represented by Robert A. Braun and Theodore J. Leopold of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, and R. Paul Hart and Jeremy McKenzie of Karsman McKenzie & Hart.

About Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, PLLC

Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, a premier U.S. plaintiffs’ law firm, with over 100 attorneys across eight offices, champions the causes of real people—workers, consumers, small business owners, investors, and whistleblowers—working to deliver corporate reforms and fair markets for the common good. For more information, visit

About Karsman McKenzie & Hart

Karsman McKenzie & Hart is a Savannah, Georgia-based personal injury and trial law firm. The firm has extensive experience handling complex personal injury lawsuits, including mass torts, major industrial accident litigation, and product liability claims. For more information, visit