Relatives of a former U.S. hostage held in Lebanon for more than five years were awarded $91 million by a U.S. judge for emotional distress in a lawsuit filed against Iran.
The family of Joseph Cicippio expects to recover the award from the U.S. Treasury, as Cicippio and other former U.S. hostages have done, lawyer James J. Oliver said. The government retains the right to pursue the funds from frozen Iranian assets.
"I would gladly return to the way my family was before my father was taken, instead of going through all the trauma we went through," son David Cicippio, 45, said Wednesday.
U.S. District Judge Henry H. Kennedy Jr. issued a default judgment Oct. 7 that awarded $6.5 million to each of Cicippio's 14 children and siblings.
Iran did not respond to the lawsuit, the latest against the Islamic republic for state-sponsored terrorist acts involving U.S. citizens.
Terry Anderson, former chief Middle East correspondent for the Associated Press, collected about $26 million for his nearly seven years in captivity. Cicippio and his wife, Elham, received $30 million as part of a 1998 judgment that gave $68 million to three hostages.
Joseph Cicippio worked as a controller for American University in Lebanon, was kidnapped Sept. 12, 1986, and released Dec. 2, 1991.