U.S. Supreme Court turns away families of dead USS Cole sailors in Sudan suit

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By Andrew Chung

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Supreme Court on Monday turned away a bid by family members of 17 U.S. sailors killed in the 2000 al Qaeda bombing of the Navy destroyer USS Cole to collect some $35 million in damages from Sudan for its alleged role in the attack, six days after also ruling against Americans injured in the attack.

The justices declined to hear the relatives' appeal of a lower court decision in favor of Sudan. The Richmond, Virginia-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the lawsuit had not been properly initiated in 2010 because the claims were sent to Sudan's embassy in Washington instead of directly to its foreign minister in Khartoum, the African country's capital.

The high court last Tuesday ruled that the improper mailing violated the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, a U.S. law governing when foreign governments may be sued in American courts, tossing out more than $314 million in damages from Sudan for a group of injured sailors and their spouses.

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