The International Campaign for Real History

Posted Monday, September 22, 2003

[] Index to the Traditional Enemies of Free Speech
[] Alphabetical index (text)

Quick navigation

[images added by this website]


Happier times. A Dec 6, 1999 party at the Skyscrapers Museum, for the Owners and Developers of the biggest New York skyscrapers.
  Front row: 1. Joe Moinian (17 Battery Place) 2. Larry Silverstein (120 Broadway, 7 World Trade Center) 3. Leona Helmsley (Empire State Building) 4. Susan Uris Halpern (55 Water Street) 5. Jonathan Green (1221 Ave. of the Americas) 6. Davar Rad (61 Broadway) Back row: 7. Adam Hochfelder (230 Park Ave.) 8. Steven Roth (One Penn Plaza) 9. Jeff Marconi (200 Park Ave., One Madison Ave., 11 Madison Ave.) 10. Ric Clark (One Liberty Plaza, World Financial Center) 11. Steve Witkoff (233 Broadway, 80 Maiden Lane)



New York Times

New York, Friday, September 26, 2003



Trade Center Developer Suffers Setback in Insurance Dispute


Larry SilversteinNEW YORK (AP) -- In a setback for World Trade Center leaseholder Larry Silverstein, a federal appeals court Friday refused to find that the two-plane attack on the World Trade Center means he can collect insurance twice, saying a jury can decide.

And the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the findings of a judge who decided that contracts for three of 22 companies insuring the trade center complex make it clear that the terrorism represented one occurrence for them, not two.

For the rest of the companies, a jury will have to decide the issue after hearing evidence about the legal documents each signed with Silverstein Properties, and what was understood at the time.

"In any event, we are not called upon here to decide whether there was one occurrence or two in this case," the court wrote.

"To be sure, a jury could find two occurrences in this case ... or it could find that the terrorist attack, although manifested in two separate airplane crashes, was a single, continuous, planned event causing a continuum of damage that resulted in the total destruction of the WTC, and thus, was a single occurrence," it added.

The ruling ended Silverstein's quest for a quick legal victory by getting the appeals court to declare that state law required the terrorism to be viewed as two occurrences, thus letting it collect $7 billion rather than $3.5 billion.

Silverstein Properties estimates its losses related to the terrorism at $8.2 billion. The total includes $5.7 billion for the twin 110-story skyscrapers, retail property at the site and buildings 4 and 5, which were destroyed.

The court said Judge John S. Martin last year was correct to conclude that the term "occurrence" is sufficiently ambiguous under New York law to permit a jury to view evidence on a case-by-case basis.

The question of whether the terrorism represented one or two events for insurance purposes was complicated by the fact that only one of the 22 insurers had issued a final policy as of Sept. 11, 2001.

Swiss Reinsurance Ltd., the company responsible for 22 percent of the coverage under the trade center's multilayer policy, will be among those going to trial. It asserts that Silverstein cannot recover more than $3.5 billion because it considers the terrorism one event.

Barry Ostrager, a lawyer for Swiss Re, called the appeals ruling a "huge, huge win for the insurers" and said the appeals court's legal findings were so favorable that it might ask the trial judge to conclude it is entitled to victory even before trial.

Howard J. Rubenstein, a spokesman for Silverstein, acknowledged in a statement that Silverstein had hoped the appeals court would rule that there were two occurrences.

He added, "We are fully confident that a jury hearing all of the evidence will reject the insurers' attempts to avoid paying for the cost of rebuilding the World Trade Center."

Twin TowersIn his ruling, Martin had addressed the contracts with Hartford Fire Insurance Co., Royal Indemnity Co. and St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co. The appeals ruling settles the question of occurrences entirely for two of the three companies, upholding Martin's findings that each company had contracts making it clear that the terrorism represented one occurrence rather than two.

Silverstein Properties had said the three insurance companies accounted for only $112 million of coverage.

Royal Indemnity lawyer Michael Barr said the ruling settles the case for a $50 million contract but that a separate contract the company had for an additional $125 million must go to trial.

"We're enormously pleased. It really could not have been a better decision," Barr said of the appeals court findings.

As to the Royal Indemnity case that must proceed to trial, he said, "We think that the evidence is powerful and overwhelming and are prepared to present that case at trial."

John Heintz, a Washington lawyer who has represented businesses in the past against the insurance industry, said he would not discount Silverstein's prospects before a jury.

"While Silverstein may not have been able to get a short circuit result, getting to a jury ultimately on an issue like this is a win," he said. "To be sure, now he's got a more lengthy and costly job ahead of him."

No trial date has been set.



Washington Post: "Instant Messages To Israel Warned Of WTC Attack"
Dilemma assicurativo da 7 miliardi di $ sull'attacco al WTC (Italian)
Property magnate Larry Silverstein had just signed $3.2 billion deal on WTC towers
Ugly squabble over who picks up World Trade Center insurance tab
Allianz is also suing WTC leaseholder
While Silverstein insured his 99-year WTC lease against terrorism, one of Israel's biggest companies pulled out of the north tower just days before Sept. 11
Were Israelis warned not to go to the WTC on 9-11?
Israeli death toll on Sept. 11, 2001 rises to five, including plane passengers (5)
Israeli WTC firm Odigo confirms: two of its employees received warnings via "instant messages" two hours before the attacks

The above item is reproduced without editing other than typographical

 Register your name and address to go on the Mailing List to receive

David Irving's ACTION REPORT

or to hear when and where he will next speak near you

© Focal Point 2003 F Irving write to David Irving