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Thread: 9/11: Judge To Mull If Airlines Owe WTC Owners

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    9/11: Judge To Mull If Airlines Owe WTC Owners

    9/11: Judge to mull if airlines owe WTC owners

    http://www.wjla.com/articles/2013/07...#ixzz2YxWWTsDw

    NEW YORK (AP) - A judge who has presided over most of the litigation stemming from the Sept. 11 attacks will decide whether the owners of the World Trade Center can try to make aviation companies pay billions of dollars in damages.

    U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein said he will announce his decision immediately after hearing several witnesses and listening to arguments in a nonjury trial starting Monday and expected to last three days.

    The trial will decide whether World Trade Center Properties and its affiliates can receive more than the $4.9 billion in insurance proceeds they have already recovered since the 9/11 attacks by terrorists who hijacked commercial airliners and flew them into the 110-story twin towers. The attacks led to the destruction of the towers as well as a third trade center building.

    If the judge should decide that the World Trade Center owners were entitled to additional money, a liability trial might occur. The defendants include American Airlines Inc., AMR Corp., United Airlines Inc., US Airways Inc., Colgan Air Inc., Boeing Co. and the Massachusetts Port Authority, among others.

    The airlines and other aviation-related companies were sued with the reasoning that they were negligent, allowing terrorists to board airplanes and overtake their crews before plunging the planes into the trade center complex, destroying three buildings.

    Hellerstein has already said the maximum the trade center owners could recover from aviation defendants would be $3.5 billion. The trade center owners 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.

    In court papers, both sides have accused the other of unfairly characterizing their claims, with the aviation defendants saying the trade center owners were being "absurd" and the complex's owners labeling some of the aviation defendants' arguments as "nonsense."

    The aviation defendants say Hellerstein should conclude that the trade center owners are entitled to no award because they've already been reimbursed by insurance companies for the same damage they are trying to force aviation defendants to pay for as well. They also note that the replacement buildings are more modern and fancy than the original buildings.

    Of the 7 World Trade Center building - the first to be rebuilt after the attacks - the lawyers wrote that the trade center owners "built a new, state of the art 'green' building that bears little resemblance to the office building that collapsed as a result of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks."

    They said they plan to call only two witnesses: an expert on law and economics and an expert in the adjustment of insurance claims. Additional evidence they will introduce will include leases, insurance policies, proof of loss, communications between trade center leaseholders and their insurers, and financial statements.

    In their court papers, the trade center's owners insist that recovering money from aviation defendants would not result in a "double recovery" because of the billions they've already received from insurers. And they note that their rebuilding costs "far exceed" what they've received from insurers.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  2. #2
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    World Trade Center owners fail in bid to claim more damages from airlines
    Developer Larry Silverstein had insisted airlines owed at least $3.5bn for letting hijackers board planes before 9/11 attacks

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013...mages-airlines

    Associated Press in New York
    guardian.co.uk, Thursday 18 July 2013 17.37 EDT

    The owners of the World Trade Center cannot demand billions of dollars more in insurance money for the destruction caused by the September 11 attacks, a federal judge decided Thursday.

    Judge Alvin Hellerstein ruled after hearing testimony by economic experts for the trade center owners and for the airlines linked to the planes that were hijacked in the attacks. The non-jury trial was held to decide whether the owners of the owners could collect more than the nearly $5bn they've already received toward reconstruction.

    In ruling against developer Larry Silverstein and World Trade Center Properties, Hellerstein cited state laws that bar "windfalls and double recovery on the same loss."

    The judge said that though he was ruling against the trade center owners, they deserved credit for spearheading the recovery effort at the site.

    "You were dealt a very severe blow," he said of the attack that turned the trade center into an inferno. Since then, the developer's workers have labored to "create beauty out the ashes of the destruction," he added.

    The plaintiffs' lawyers said they would appeal the decision.

    During the four-day proceeding, Silverstein's attorneys had insisted that the aviation companies owed at least $3.5bn for letting hijackers board planes that destroyed three skyscrapers on 9/11: the prominent twin towers, and 7 World Trade Center, a 47-story building that caught fire after debris from one of the jet crashes pierced its facade. It collapsed hours later.

    Attorney Roger Podesta, speaking for companies including United Airlines, US Airways, American Airlines and its parent company, AMR, had argued that making aviation companies pay would amount to double compensation.

    He said an $8.5b total recovery would be more than two and a half times the fair value of the buildings that fell.

    But attorney Richard Williamson, representing World Trade Center Properties, said damages from the attacks had totaled at least $7.2bn.

    The trade center owners say it has cost more than $7bn to replace the twin towers and more than $1bn to replace the third trade center building that fell.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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