Sen. Wise plans to prefile bill allowing victims of terrorism to sue in civil court

06/07/2017 11:04 AM

After recent terrorist attacks in England, state Sen. Max Wise is again filing a bill aimed at giving victims and their families an avenue to sue in civil court.

The Campbellsville Republican is a national security expert and former FBI analyst, and he would like to change Kentucky statutes after watching other state’s enact legislation known as “Andy’s law.”

The legislation is named for Private First Class Andy Long, who was shot and killed at an Arkansas military recruiting office.

“There’s not a whole lot of civil action that can be taken on the state level for victims dealing with terrorism, and also to make terrorism a capital offense in many states,” Wise said in a phone interview on Tuesday.

In recent years not all federal terror verdicts have been paid.

For instance the $53 billion dollars in unpaid court judgements to American victims of Iranian terrorism from the 1983 bombings in Beirut, according to the Wall Street Journal.

If the law is enacted, Wise said the law would allow victims to seek the terrorist’s assets, as well as anyone who supported the act of terrorism.

“It also just gives the victims’ families the opportunity to seek those damages for the loss of their loved one,” he said.

The state would also have to consider what constitutes terrorism, and who is a terrorist. Wise said those specifics are addressed in the legislation.

Sen. Wise is in the process of prefilling the bill before the 2018 long session. He said he plans on speaking with Senate Judiciary Chairman Whitney Westerfield, R-Hopkinsville, on Wednesday about having the bill heard during the interim session.

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