Wed, Sep 10, 2003
Somebody Died; Somebody Has to Pay!
U.S. District Judge
Alvin Hellerstein said on Tuesday that he will not dismiss suits
against AMR, UAL, Boeing, the Port Authority of New York and New
Jersey, World Trade Center Properties, and others for what is
allegedly their part in the September 11 terrorist attacks.
The airlines argued that the terror attacks were beyond their
control (they were -- the airlines followed all federal screening
rules; and then their crews gave in to the hijackers' demands, just
the way the government experts told them to), and that the acts
should therefore be classified as 'acts of God.' Beyond that, if
government actions that followed September 11 were to be used as
evidence, the terrorist attacks were 'acts of war,' also exempt
The judge's ruling seems to support the theory that the attacks
were not acts of war; and that they would have been
preventable, had the airlines (and Boeing?) done something
differently, yet still withing the federal rules.
The heirs of those killed in the STC and Pentagon attacks, and
on Flight 93, stand to collect millions -- either on top of, or
instead of, millions already pledged by the American people, and
not yet used as 'administrative costs' by the charitable
organizations that collected those donations.
The real question seems to be, 'should those heirs go for the
big pot 'o money that's possible through litigation, or settle for
the monies already available?' To be fair, the suit on Judge
Hellerstein's docket was brought by ten entities who suffered
property damage, and the heirs of 70 victims (of the roughly 3000
who were killed that horrible day).
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