The War Profiteers - War Crimes, Kidnappings & Torture
The Blackwater Killings Civil Suit X
Case File: Civil Lawsuit related to the September 16th, 2007 Killings
Daniel Brady et al vs. Xe Services LLC, Blackwater Security Consulting LLC et al
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina
Case No.: 5:09-cv-00449-BO (5:09-cv-00450-BO)
Filed on October 15th, 2009
Prior to being transferred to Federal Court:
Daniel Brady et al vs. Xe Services LLC, Blackwater Security Consulting LLC et al
Superior Court Division, Wake County
Case No.: 09-cv-018387
Filed on September 15th, 2009
February 17th, 2010 - Defendant Ridgeway’s Opposition to Conduct Jurisdictional Discovery
February 16th, 2010 - Defendants Ball, […] Reply to Opposition to Motion to Dismiss
February 16th, 2010 - Corporate Defendants’ Memorandum in Support to Dismiss Complaint
January 25th, 2010 - Plaintiffs’ Motion for Leave to Conduct Jurisdictional Discovery
January 25th, 2010 - Plaintiffs’ Memorandum in Opposition to Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss
December 24th, 2009 - Defendant Jeremy Ridgeway’s Motion to Dismiss the Complaint
December 22nd, 2009 - Def.s’ Memorandum in Opposition to Plaintiffs’ Motion for Remand
November 16th, 2009 - Plaintiffs’ Motion for Remand
November 12th, 2009 - Corporate Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss the Complaint
November 12th, 2009 - Defendants Ball, Heard, Liberty, Slatten & Slough’s Motion to Dismiss
October 15th, 2009 - Notice of Removal
September 15th, 2009 - Complaint
“[…] Comes now Defendant Jeremy P. Ridgeway (‘Mr. Ridgeway’), by counsel, pursuant to Local Rule 7.1, and hereby submits this Opposition to Plaintiffs’ Separated Motion for Leave to Conduct Jurisdictional Discovery (the ‘Opposition’). Plaintiffs’ Separated Motion for Leave to Conduct Jurisdictional Discovery (the ‘Motion’) should be denied because Plaintiffs have not established the requisite prima facie evidence of personal jurisdiction that is needed for the Court to grant Plaintiffs leave to conduct the discovery in question. The grounds for this Opposition are set forth more fully in the accompanying Memorandum in Support.
“Wherefore, Mr. Ridgeway requests respectfully that the Court deny Plaintiffs’ Motion. […]”
“[…] Defendants Donald Wayne Ball, Dustin L. Heard, Evan Shawn Liberty, Nicholas Abrarn Slatten and Paul Alvin Slough hereby adopt, and refer the Court to the Corporate Defendants’ Reply Memorandum in Support of their Motion to Dismiss the Complaint or, in the Alternative, to Strike Exhibits, which is being filed today. […]”
“[…] Plaintiffs’ opposition to the Corporate Defendants’ motion to dismiss […] describes an event that was undeniably tragic. Every tragic event that occurs throughout the world is not redressable through a lawsuit in the courts of the United States, however. The issue presented by this motion is whether the Complaint states a valid claim for relief against the Corporate Defendants. For all of the reasons stated herein and in the opening brief […], it does not.
“[…] Plaintiffs are Iraqi citizens seeking compensation under Iraqi law for injuries allegedly sustained in the Iraq war zone at the hands of U.S. State Department contractors providing security services to U.S. diplomats. Such injuries are not redressable in this Court. […]
“[…] Even if they were actionable here, Plaintiffs’ claims are deficient under Iraqi law. […]”
“[…] Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 7(b)(l), Local Civil Rule 7.1, EDNC, through undersigned counsel and upon the grounds set forth in the accompanying Memorandum of Law, Plaintiffs respectfully move the Court for an order allowing them a 90-day period to conduct limited discovery on the personal jurisdictional issue raised by Defendant Jeremy Ridgeway’s Motion to Dismiss and an additional twenty (20) days from the close of such discovery period to file a brief in opposition to said motion. In the alternative, if this Court does not grant Plaintiffs leave to conduct the requested limited discovery, Plaintiffs respectfully request that the Court allow them twenty (20) days from the date of such ruling to respond to Defendant Ridgeway’s Motion to Dismiss. While Defendant Ridgeway’s counsel does not consent to Plaintiffs’ request for leave to conduct limited jurisdictional discovery, counsel does consent to Plaintiffs’ request for an additional twenty (20) days, from the date the Court rules on this Motion, to respond to Defendant Ridgeway’s Motion to Dismiss. […]”
“[…] Plaintiffs, through counsel, respectfully submit this Memorandum of Law opposing defendants’ Motion to Dismiss and/or to Strike (‘Motion’). For the reasons that follow, defendants’ Motion should be overruled. Plaintiffs submit that this case should first be remanded to the state court from which defendants improperly removed it. Should the Court remand, the need to decide this Motion will be mooted. In any event, defendants’ Motion is meritless and should be rejected.
“Nature of the case
“This case is not about the United States military or the conduct of the war against terrorism in Iraq. This case is not about national security, nor is it about politics, and it does not implicate the separation of powers amongst co-equal branches of our government. Although the location of events is a public traffic circle known as Nisur Square in Baghdad, Iraq, none of the relevant events has any military or national security component whatsoever. There are no federal claims or causes of action raised in the Complaint.
“The defendants consist of a private company and its employees that were hired, as independent contractors, by the United States Department of State (‘DOS’) to provide bodyguard services to diplomats and related personnel. Defendants’ employees, per Blackwater’s contract with the DOS, were expressly prohibited from using deadly force except for purely defensive purposes. […] Defendants, including the instant guard-defendants, also agreed to ‘comply with the laws of the United States and the host countries in which they are required to provide services under th[e] [WPPS II] contract.’ […]”
“[…] Pursuant to Local Civil Rule 7.1 and Rule 12(b)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (‘Rules’), Defendant Jeremy P. Ridgeway hereby moves to dismiss Plaintiffs’ Complaint. Defendant Ridgeway’s Motion to Dismiss should be granted because this Court lacks personal jurisdiction over Defendant Ridgeway. The grounds for this Motion to Dismiss are set forth more fully in the accompanying Memorandum in Support.
“Wherefore, Defendant Ridgeway respectfully requests that the Court grant his Motion. […]”
“[…] Plaintiffs’ claims arise out of a tactical support mission in Iraq conducted by security contractors employed by the Department of State to guard U.S. diplomats traveling through the Iraq war zone. Compl. […] Defendants include U.S. Training Center, Inc. (‘USTC’), the company that contracted with the State Department, certain individuals who worked as Independent Contractors (‘ICs’) under the State Department contract, and other legal entities allegedly related to USTC. Plaintiffs assert tort claims for injuries allegedly suffered during a security mission in Baghdad on September 16, 2007. Plaintiffs allege that the ICs used unjustified force in carrying out the mission, and that USTC was negligent in retaining and supervising those ICs.
“Defendants removed this case from North Carolina state court on the grounds that they were acting under a federal officer pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1442 (a)(1) and that Plaintiffs’ claims implicate significant federal issues. The case for removal is clear: Plaintiffs concede that USTC and the Individual Defendants were under contract to the State Department to assist with the performance of a vital governmental function, i.e., securing U.S. diplomats traveling in a war zone […], and that the Defendants injured them during a tactical support mission conducted pursuant to the State Department contract […]. Moreover, Defendants assert numerous federal defenses […]. Thus, it is indisputable that ‘removal in th[is] case fulfills the federal officer removal statute’s purpose of protecting persons who, through contractual relationships with the Government, perform jobs that the Government otherwise would have performed.’ […]
“Plaintiffs nevertheless have moved to remand, advancing a narrow conception of the federal officer removal statute that is at odds with the statute’s plain text and with the Supreme Court’s long-standing admonition that the statute’s purpose of ensuring that federal defenses proffered by those executing federal policy will be heard in a federal forum should not be defeated by a ‘narrow, grudging interpretation of § 1442 (a)(1).’ […] The Court should deny Plaintiffs’ motion. […]”
“[…] Come now plaintiffs in the above-entitled action, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c), and hereby move the Court for an Order remanding the above-entitled action back to the North Carolina Superior Court, Wake County. This Motion for Remand is based upon the following grounds:
“1. The plaintiffs’ Complaint does not allege any claims which ‘arise under’ the Constitution, laws or treaties of the United States;
“2. The defendants are not persons acting under color of any agency or office of the United States, and are not entitled to invoke the federal officer removal statute pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1441 (a)(l) to establish removal jurisdiction;
“3. The defendants' anticipated defenses, as stated in their removal papers, even if based upon a federal statute or federal preemption, do not provide a basis for removal jurisdiction; […]”
“[…] The Corporate Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss should be granted for the following reasons: (1) Plaintiffs lack standing to sue in this Court; (2) the Complaint presents nonjusticiable political questions; (3) Plaintiffs’ claims are preempted by federal foreign policymaking authority; (4) Plaintiffs fail to state a claim under applicable Iraqi law; (5) Plaintiffs’ claims are barred by the government contractor defense; (6) Plaintiffs’ claims are barred by absolute immunity; and (7) Plaintiffs fail to state a claim against any of the corporate entities named as defendants or against defendant Erik Prince personally.
“The Corporate Defendants’ Motion to Strike should be granted because Plaintiffs have improperly appended evidentiary materials to their pleading, and because these materials are irrelevant to Plaintiffs’ claims and prejudicial to Defendants.
“The grounds for the Corporate Defendants’ Motion are set forth more fully in the accompanying Memorandum of Law. […]”
“[…] Defendants Donald Wayne Ball, Dustin L. Heard, Evan Shawn Liberty, Nicholas Abram Slatten and Paul Alvin Slough (collectively ‘These Defendants’) hereby move to dismiss all causes of action asserted against them in the above-referenced action, pursuant to Rules 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. In support of this Motion, These Defendants refer the Court to the ‘Corporate Defendants Memorandum of Law in Support of [their] Motion to Dismiss,’ which is being filed today in support of the separate motion to dismiss being filed by all other Defendants besides Jeremy P. Ridgeway. In particular, all causes of action should be dismissed against These Defendants for the reasons set forth in Sections I. - IV. of the Argument in that memorandum. […]”
“[…] In accordance with 28 U.S.C. 1441, 1442(a)(l), and 1446, Defendants Xe Services LLC, Blackwater Security Consulting LLC, U.S. Training Center, Inc., Raven Development Group LLC, GSD Manufacturing LLC, Prince Group, LLC, Total Intelligence Solutions LLC, Greystone Limited a/k/a Greystone Ltd., Terrorism Research Center, Incorporated, Technical Defense Associates, Incorporated, Aviation Worldwide Services, L.L.C., Guardian Flight Systems LLC, Presidential Airways, Inc., STI Aviation, Inc., Air Quest, Inc., Samarus Co. Ltd., Erik Prince, Donald Wayne Ball, Dustin L. Heard, Evan Shawn Liberty, Nicholas Abram Slatten and Paul Alvin Slough (collectively, the ‘Removing Defendants’) hereby give notice of the removal of this action from the North Carolina General Court of Justice, Superior Court Division, Wake County, to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Western Division. […]”
“[…] 1. This action arises from an unnecessary and unprovoked attack against innocent, unarmed Iraqi civilians on the early afternoon of September 16, 2007 at a traffic circle in Baghdad, Iraq known as Nisur Square. The wrongful conduct of defendants, as alleged herein, caused the needless deaths of at least fourteen (14) Iraqi civilians and serious injuries to a number of others, including women and children.
“2. This action is being brought against the corporate entities that previously operated in Iraq under the name ‘Blackwater’ and are now known as ‘Xe’ (‘Blackwater-Xe’), as well as the individual defendants named herein, all current and former employees of Blackwater-Xe. Blackwater-Xe was established in or about 1996 and is one of the world’s largest providers of private personal protective services. Blackwater-Xe began operating in Iraq in approximately August of 2003, pursuant to an independent contractor relationship with the U.S. State Department to provide private personal protective services to certain high-level U.S. and foreign officials working in Baghdad, Iraq.
“3. Blackwater-Xe created and fostered a culture of unlawful and reckless conduct amongst its employees, including the individual defendants named herein. The tragedy at Nisur Square on September 16, 2007 was only the latest incident in a pattern of egregious conduct by Blackwater-Xe personnel operating in Iraq.
“4. Defendants’ wholesale slaughter of innocent civilians at Nisur Square was thoroughly investigated by United States military and criminal investigators, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation. As a result of the investigation into defendants’ unlawful conduct at Nisur Square, the United States Department of Justice obtained criminal indictments against five of the individual defendants for their role in this unnecessary tragedy. Another individual defendant, also a former employee of Blackwater-Xe, has entered a guilty plea for his role in the shootings at Nisur Square.
“5. In this action, plaintiffs seek the recovery of compensatory damages for innocent civilians who were injured or killed at Nisur Square on September 16, 2007, as well as punitive damages for the conduct of defendants giving rise to the claims set forth herein. […]”