Airline to Pay $135 Million To Cantor in 9/11 Deal
American Airlines and its insurers will pay $135 million to Cantor Fitzgerald for business interruption and property damage that allegedly flowed from the airline's negligence in allowing terrorists to board the plane that destroyed the north tower of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
Attorney John Stoviak of Saul Ewing LLP, one of the attorneys who represents the financial services firm that lost 658 of its 1,000 employees who worked in the top five floors of the tower, told Southern District Judge Alvin Hellerstein (See Profile) at a Tuesday hearing that the airline agreed to pay the money to resolve the last of 21 cases seeking damages against the airlines.
One of those 21 cases was dismissed and the other 19 took part in mediation that ultimately resulted in a $1.2 billion settlement. Cantor initially sought over $1 billion in damages but that number was knocked down to under $500 million in a ruling by the judge in 2011 (NYLJ, Jan. 20, 2011).
Hellerstein told lawyers at Tuesday's hearing that the settlement brings a "significant conclusion" to claims brought against airlines by direct victims of the attacks. The judge also said that many of the questions that might have been answered at a trial that was scheduled for January will remain a mystery.
The case is In re: September 11 property Damage and Business Loss Litigation, 21-mc-00101.