A federal judge has ruled in favor of Arlington-based CACI International in a dispute over whether its accusers should pay its legal expenses after the company won dismissal of a case alleging its employees directed mistreatment of Abu Ghraib detainees.
The judge ordered the four plaintiffs, all Iraqis who served time at the prison, to pay nearly $14,000.
This summer, CACI secured a long-fought victory when a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit against one of the company’s units, deciding that because the alleged abuse happened overseas, the U.S. District Court in Alexandria did not have jurisdiction to hear the case.
The bill filed by CACI covered specific legal expenses, including the costs of taking depositions and hiring an interpreter.
After CACI filed the bill for its expenses, lawyers for the plaintiffs submitted an opposition to the request, arguing that it was unjust.
The plaintiffs “have very limited financial means, even by non-U.S. standards, and dramatically so when compared to the corporate defendants in this case,” the filing said. “At the same time, plaintiffs’ serious claims of torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, and war crimes were dismissed on very close, difficult — and only recently arguable — grounds.”
CACI said in a reply that the opposition “is just the latest example of Plaintiffs arguing that they are entitled to an exemption from the rules applicable to every other federal court litigant.”
The company declined to comment. Baher Azmy, the plaintiffs’ lawyer, said Wednesday that he is disappointed in the judge’s decision, but is moving forward with an appeal of the case.