On the morning of October 23, 1983 in Beirut, Lebanon, Iranian terrorists drove a truck loaded with explosives through steel fences and right up to a 4-story military barracks before detonating, leaving 241 United States Military personnel dead. Lance Corporal Lex Trahan, a Lafayette native and 19 years old at the time, was stationed for service in Beirut and on the 3rd floor of the barracks, was one of the casualties in the attack. Now, 37 years later, Lance Cpl. Trahan’s family will soon begin receiving installments of a $50 million settlement for his passing.
With the help of attorney Warren Perrin of the law office of the law firm of Perrin Landry deLaunay (associates on litigation with Broussard & David), Lance Cpl. Trahan’s family secured a $50 million award from a 2016 lawsuit filed against the Islamic Republic of Iran & Iranian Ministry of Information and Security for wrongful death, battery, assault, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. In the 1st U.S. District Court in Washington D.C., the plaintiffs, including both victims of the terrorist bombing and families of the deceased, were granted default judgement against the Iranian government after the foreign government did not respond following service of process.
The plaintiffs collectively received $338 million in the lawsuit. Lance Cpl. Trahan’s family and estate were awarded approximately $11 million in damages with the remaining $39 million awarded as punitive damages. The $50 million settlement is the largest award for the death of a teenager in United States history.