USS Cole Families Press Legal Claims against Sudan

By Zinie Chen Sampson | October 26, 2010 | 2:59 PM EDT

Richmond, Virginia (AP) - Relatives of the 17 sailors killed in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole are asking for the right to seek emotional-distress claims against the Republic of Sudan, which they say provided support for al-Qaida terrorists.

An attorney representing 59 relatives on Tuesday asked a 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel to overturn a ruling that barred the families from seeking damages for their pain and suffering. He also asked that the panel order the judge to reconsider the case in light of a federal law passed in 2008 that allows for such awards.

A federal judge in Norfolk had awarded 33 relatives $8 million plus interest in 2007, but dismissed the suffering claims.

The Cole was bombed while in Yemen for a fuel stop.