Not all those who settled are unhappy. Hassan Jabar Salman, an attorney who suffered injuries to his back, shoulder and arm, said in a telephone interview Sunday that he received significantly more than the amounts being reported and that he is satisfied. Because he is a lawyer, he said, "I know how to negotiate."
An October ruling by a federal judge in the Virginia case suggests the Iraqis may have faced obstacles had they persisted. The ruling said that the plaintiffs had not demonstrated that the company could be sued in federal court, and it suggested that they refile using different arguments. That could have dragged the case out for several years, legal experts say.
"These lawsuits would not have been a piece of cake," said Eugene R. Fidell, who teaches military law at Yale Law School. "It would have been a real hassle and who knows what the outcome would be."
Though there have been no published reports suggesting Xe is in danger of bankruptcy, it is also highly unlikely that any court would dismiss the out-of-court settlements without proof of coercion or fraud, especially as the plaintiffs' own lawyers were present when they signed, said Robert Strassfeld, director of the Institute for Global Security Law and Policy at Case Western Reserve University School of Law.
He described the amounts involved in the settlements as "disappointing," but added, "I was fairly pessimistic about the likelihood of ever achieving justice in this case."
A separate civil suit filed by several other victims of the Nisoor Square shootings is pending in a North Carolina court.
Times staff writer Raheem Salman contributed to this report.