On May 30, 1972, Carmelo Calderon-Molina and Pablo Tirado-Ayala had just arrived at Ben Gurion Airport when Palestinian and Japanese Red Army terrorists opened fire, killing Calderon-Molina and injuring Tirado-Ayala.
The Plaintiffs filed suit in March 2008 in the Puerto Rican District Court under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) for tort damages due to the state-sponsored terrorist activities of North Korea.
The court had to make a determination regarding jurisdiction over North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism, and whether plaintiffs provided enough evidence to hold North Korea liable for the attacks.
The court found that North Korea was not immune from prosecution, and held that the plaintiff sufficiently demonstrated that North Korea supported the “extrajudicial killing” against a US citizen. This decision was based on the testimony from three key experts, as well as documents supplied by the plaintiffs concerning the intricate connections between the terrorist perpetrators and North Korea during the time leading up to and including the 1972 attack. The court extensively delineated the damages incurred by each plaintiff, including death, injuries, and ongoing emotional distress, awarding the plaintiffs $378,000,000 in compensatory and punitive damages.