Klinghoffer’s Family Sues PLO, Shipowners for $1.5 Billion
The family of Leon Klinghoffer sued the Palestine Liberation Organization and the owners of the cruise ship Achille Lauro on Wednesday for $1.5 billion for his “wanton and coldblooded murder.”
Klinghoffer, 69, a wheelchair-bound stroke victim who owned wholesale appliance stores, was shot to death Oct. 8 while aboard the hijacked Italian liner with his wife, Marilyn.
The suits were filed in federal district and New York state courts. The PLO was mentioned only in the state suit, which contends that the terrorists who took over the ship were PLO assassins.
A ranking spokesman for the group discounted these contentions Wednesday.
“They can claim anything they want,” said Zehdi Labib Terzi, PLO permanent observer at the United Nations. “The courts will establish who killed the man. They are interfering with the process of justice.”
Jay Fischer, an attorney for the Klinghoffers, said: “The time has come for the civilized world to marshal all of its resources in an unrelenting effort to end terrorism . . . to place responsibility for such acts directly at the doorsteps of those who commit these obscenities.”
In the federal suit, Fischer charged that the owners and operators of the ship, the tour operators and Italian officials had “failed in one manner or another to adequately protect the passengers.”
That suit named as defendants the owners of the Achille Lauro, Chandris Lines of Italy, the Port of Genoa, Club ABC Tours, Crown Travel Service and Rona Travel.
Fischer asked for $100 million on each of 15 counts of wrongful death and negligence.