NY developer: Airline reneging on 9/11 promise

A World Trade Center developer asked a judge Wednesday to disqualify American Airlines from using an "act of war" defense to dodge property liability resulting from the Sept. 11 attacks.
Associated Press
Feb 23, 2013


Lawyers for the developer, Larry Silverstein, filed papers in U.S. District Court in Manhattan to urge rejection of American Airlines' claim that the 2001 terrorist attack was an act of war that should shield the airline from liability. They called the claims proof of "breathtaking cynicism."

The lawyers said the airline and its insurance carriers promised Congress, regulators and the American people after the attacks that the defense would not be used. In return, the lawyers said, the aviation industry got a massive federal bailout that protected their businesses after the attacks.

"Defendants now renege on those promises and press an act of war defense," the lawyers wrote.

American Airlines spokesman Sean Collins said Silverstein's claims have "no factual or legal support."

"American Airlines has defended itself with all defenses available at law against the baseless attempt by the Silverstein entities to hold American responsible for the terrorist attacks of September 11," he said.

Silverstein has been aggressive in the courts to try to collect as much money as possible to rebuild the trade center after the Sept. 11 attacks demolished two 110-story towers. He included the airline in his claims for damages after American Airlines Flight 11 from Boston to Los Angeles struck the north tower of the trade center, killing 86 passengers and crew members, along with the hijackers.

He originally filed separate claims for $7 billion, or two full payouts under the $3.5 billion worth of insurance coverage he took out on the trade center complex, arguing that the towers were destroyed by separate attacks by planes hijacked by terrorists.

In two civil trials, it was determined he was eligible for more than $4 billion in insurance payouts.

A judge has limited him to $2.8 billion in potential payouts from remaining litigation, including his action against Texas-based American Airlines.



Professor Playdoh's picture
Professor Playdoh

If it wasn't an Act of War...What was it?


That's like trying to make bread out of dog crap. YGBFSM. (YGBFSM = You Gotta Be Freakin' Spitting Me) kinna sorta..


Mr. Silverstein is trying to get money to re-build.

IMO, he already got cheated out of billions of dollars once before.

The destruction of the twin towers was determined to be one incident, not two. And so he only got $4B when he figured he should get $7B.

Kinda like: If you owned two houses side-by-side that burned to the ground and a judge determined that it was only one fire. And so you only collected one insurance payout, not two.


The freakin' planes were highjacked. Why is it the airline's fault?


Deep pockets. Kinda like accident injury attys. - you go after anyone and everyone who has any $.

Again: One gang of kids burn your two houses down, you gonna sue the parents after the judge cheats you out of a payment for one house?


Nah...I'll hunt down the insurance company and destroy them. They are the ones who didn't pay. Insurance is a scam.


IMO, more like the judge was in their pocket.


Same same...we agree.

2cents's picture

uslegal.com says!
An act of war is an action by one country against another with an intention to provoke a war or an action that occurs during a declared war or armed conflict between military forces of any origin. The loss or damage caused due to such conflicts are excluded from insurance coverage except for life assurances.

So a bunch of rogue religious fanatic jerks are not a country and the insurance company has to pay. Bottom line even though I know they have revised the deffinition after 9-11 but it is what it is at the time.


From my understanding: An act of war generally falls under the heading that the destruction is so cataclysmic that restitution is financially beyond the means of the ins. co. to pay.

Example: In a nuke war with tens of millions of people dead and massive destruction, forget your life ins. and property and casualty ins. payin' off in full if at all.

Interesting however that during the financial crisis, that the Fed. Resve. covered at 100 cents on the dollar, the billions of dollars worth of credit default swaps insured by AIG.

Another clause in an insurance contract for non-payment is "Act of God." OB Laden would probably agree with that one.

IMO, the decision was a miscarriage of justice.

2cents's picture

On another note, maybe the Fed should be in on this one, what’s a few billion more to the deficit! It seems the Fed stired up Mr. B Laden anyway...


Yep! The gubbermint "kinda" failed us on 9-11 and in some ways "they" are responsible.

Unfortunately: We are They.

The govt. made payments to the survivors. How was that not accepting liability?

Still curious to see how the survivors who chose not to take the $1M govt. payout and to sue the airlines, etc. make out.

BTW: Our ol' "pal" Dog is a 9-11 truther.

2cents's picture

Ill ponder it while walking thru the botanical garden this afternoon! Keep this site solvent, later :)

The Big Dog's back

LIHAP (Let It Happen) or MIHAP (Make It Happen).


Since when have insurance companies been in business to actually do what they sell/tell you they will do? BUT, the almighty GOV'T SAYS we must have it.


Well, a LOT of money was made by somebody on that horrible day !