Summary of Part VI

AuthorErnesto Sanchez
(1) In general, as to any claim for relief with respect to which a defendant qualifying as a
“foreign state” under the FSIA is not entitled to jurisdictional immunity, the defendant
shall be liable in the same manner and to the same extent as a private individual under
like circumstances.
(2) e FSIA also creates a private right of action encompassing acts and defendants covered
by the state-sponsored terrorism exception to jurisdictional immunity.
(3) U.S. courts can treat nonimmune defendants in FSIA actions “in the same manner and to
the same extent as a private individual under like circumstances” with respect to discovery
surrounding the merits of a case.
(4) A claimant must establish its claim or right to relief by evidence satisfactor y to the court
to obtain a default judgment under the FSIA, while a copy of a default judgment against
a foreign state or a political subdivision thereof shall be sent to the foreign state or politi-
cal subdivision thereof as prescribed by the statute’s guidelines for service of process.
(5) e Federal Rules of Civil Procedure prescribe circumstances for setting aside entries of
default and default judgments.
(6) A foreign state or political subdivision thereof shall not be liable for punitive damages,
except in actions under the FSIA’s state-sponsored terrorism exception. A foreign state
or its subdivision can be held liable in such actions for not only punitive damages, but
also for economic damages, solatium, pain and suering, vicarious liability for the acts of
ocials, employees, or agents, reasonably foreseeable property loss, whether insured or
uninsured, third-party liability, and loss claims under life and property insurance policies.
Otherwise, if, in any case where death was caused, the law of the place where the action
or omission occurred provides, or has been construed to provide, for damages only puni-
tive in nature, a foreign state or political subdivision thereof shall only be liable for actual
or compensatory damages measured by the pecuniary injuries resulting from such death
which were incurred by the person for whose benet the action was brought.
(7) Dur ing the merits stage of a case, a defendant also has the option of seeking dismissal for
failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted (i.e., Federal Rule of Civil Pro-
cedure 12(b)(6)) pursuant to the act of state doctrine. e doctrine precludes U.S. courts
from inquiring into the validity of public acts a recognized foreign sovereign power com-
mitted within its own territory and applies when the outcome of the case turns upon the
eect of ocial action by the sovereign. e extent of exceptions to the doctrine, however,
remains unclear.
(8) Trial of an FSIA action shall take place without a jury.
ForSovImmunAct_book.indb 347 4/11/13 3:32 PM

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