American & United Settle 9/11 Lawsuit With World Trade Center Developers

I had no clue that anything like this was still going on. Reuters is reporting that the developer of the World Trade Center (Silverstein Properties) has reached a $95.2 million settlement with American and United stemming from the attacks that happened on 9/11.

While Silverstein Properties has received billions of dollars from insurers following what happened on 9/11, Larry Silversein wanted to “hold American and United responsible for their alleged negligence in failing to prevent the Twin Towers’ destruction by their hijacked planes.” Hmmm…

Here’s what representatives from Silverstein Properties and American Airlines had to say about the settlement:

The accord would “bring to a close this hard-fought thirteen-year litigation on terms agreeable to the parties,” lawyers for Silverstein and the airlines said in a filing.

“We are pleased to have finally reached a resolution to this piece of post-9/11 litigation,” Bud Perrone, a spokesman for Silverstein Properties, said in an email.

Matt Miller, a spokesman for American, said the Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier was also pleased to settle, and “will never forget that terrible day and its lasting impact,” including the loss of 23 employees and family members.

Upon reading this my initial reaction was shock over this still being the basis of a lawsuit more than 16 years later. On one hand it seems like a stretch to suggest that negligence on the part of American and United led to the events of 9/11. I’d say the airline industry on the whole may have been a bit negligent, and I guess for the purposes of the lawsuit, that’s basically the same thing. Airlines could have certainly introduced reinforced cockpit doors earlier and could have also improved security (though arguably the TSA isn’t any better than the private security we had before 9/11).

But I also recognize that this is something that’s ultimately between the companies’ respective insurers, and this may be as simple as the airlines being responsible for any damage caused by their planes, even if it’s a horrible situation like this. I’m sure someone who works in insurance and/or is a lawyer can chime in.

I guess it’s good that this is all settled now, but I’m still a bit surprised that this is happening after over 16 years.

Comments

  1. I thought Congress passed legislation in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 that indemnified the airlines and other responsible parties. The settlements paid to the heirs of the victims, for examples, were paid by the feds. Then again Silverstein Property’s insurers paid, so maybe it was only wrongful death claims by the victim’s heirs?

  2. I would be curious to read the complaints and see what the exact allegations of negligence were in this situation.

  3. I too am surprised to hear that this was still going on, and also would be curious to read the actual complaints. That said, with the amount of contradiction in the 911 Comission Reports, official statements and other discrepencies in the events of Sept 11, the lawyers must have had a field day dragging this on.

  4. Airlines were responsible for the first $2 billion in claims, with the US Taxpayers picking up the rest.

    UA and AA both had insurance policies that covered the first $2 billion, so most likely the insurers will be covering this payout.

    Note that victims families could choose to sue the airlines or accept a payout from the government based on how much the victim was worth.

  5. with regards to the lawsuit against airlines, some insurers exclude terror etc, but to be fair, where you cant blame ,maybe the airline, if you strip everything away, the planes did crash and cause damage, In the UK, if someone stole a car, and it hit you and your car , whilst driving, you could still claim against them, and owners, i.e. if the owners left their keys in car, In other words, the situation was terrible for what happened, but Towers were not at fault, what does anyone else think, with out being a lawyer, no smith v peters, pls ha ha

  6. Larry “pull it” Silverstein. I’m curious if he sued anyone for the implosion….er collapse of building 7?

  7. Justin, all I’m saying is Building 7, UNTOUCHED by any airplanes, was clearly an implosion. To watch the video of that building falling in seconds and to say otherwise makes one a willful idiot.

    Oh, and by the way, 16 years later the money grubbing pos & his blood-sucking lawyers are still trying to profit off of the horrid events of 9/11.

  8. If Silverstein had already received billions from insurers, it makes it sound like by suing the airlines they are making a profit out of a tragedy. If that is true it is appalling.

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