The owners of the fallen World Trade Center towers have lost a federal lawsuit seeking billions more in insurance money from the 9/11 Attacks!
In a landmark decision, a federal judge has decided the owners of the fallen World Trade Center towers can’t demand billions of dollars more in insurance money for the destruction caused by the 9/11 Attacks.
After hearing testimony by economic experts for the World Trade Center owners and for the airlines linked to the planes that were hijacked in the attacks, Judge Alvin Hellerstein handed down his ruling. The non-jury trial was held to decide whether the owners could collect more than the nearly $5 billion they’ve already received toward reconstruction.
The judge ruled against developer Larry Silverstein and World Trade Center Properties, citing New York State laws that bar “windfalls and double recovery on the same loss.”
The judge said that though he was ruling against the World Trade Center owners, they deserved credit for spearheading the recovery effort at the 16-acre site in Lower Manhattan.
“You were dealt a very severe blow,” the judge stated, adding the developers “create beauty out the ashes of the destruction.”
Bud Perrone, a spokesman for Silverstein Properties said the developer was “deeply disappointed” by the ruling and would appeal but remains committed to the ongoing construction projects on the site.
Perrone continued, “We will not rest until we have exhausted every option to assure that the aviation industry’s insurers pay their fair share toward the complete rebuilding of the World Trade Center.”
During the four-day proceeding, Silverstein’s attorneys had insisted that the aviation companies owed at least $3.5 billion for letting hijackers board planes that destroyed three skyscrapers on September 11, 2001: the fabled Twin Towers and also 7 World Trade Center, a 47-story building that caught fire after debris from one of the jet crashes pierced its facade and collapsed hours later.
Attorney Roger Podesta, speaking for companies including United Airlines Inc., US Airways Inc., American Airlines Inc. and its parent company, AMR Corp., had argued that making aviation companies pay would amount to double compensation.
He successfully argued that an $8.5 billion total recovery would be more than two and a half times the fair value of the buildings that fell.
However, attorney Richard Williamson, who was representing World Trade Center Properties, said damages from the attacks had totaled at least $7.2 billion.
The owners of the three skyscrapers say it has cost more than $7 billion to replace the Twin Towers and more than $1 billion to replace the third trade center building that fell.
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