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.