$2 Billion Settlement For World Trade Center
In an article on SignOnSanDiego.com, it's been announced that the legal battles between the builders of the World Trade Center and seven insurers has finally been settled. The $2 billion settlement announced today is in addition to $2.55 billion that has already been paid in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. However, the final settlement actually falls $130 million short of the amount that was initially awarded in a trial in 2004.
This dispute has cost millions of dollars to both sides in the lawsuit.
The problem arose from the policy wording in the insurance coverage taken out by Silverstein Properties. Silverstein had taken out $3.5 billion in coverage, through dozens of insurers, against attack on the buildings. The argument was that the insurers should payout twice on the policies because there were two attacks by two separate airplanes, and not just one. In 2004, two juries decided that some of the insurers had to pay twice because of policy wording, and that triggered additional court proceedings.
The governor said that the deal will ensure that there will be enough money to rebuild at the site. However, it's not the full amount needed; the settlement represents just over half of the required funding. The site will be rebuilt by Silverstein properties and the New York Port Authority. The Port Authority will build the 1,776-foot Freedom Tower and another planned tower; Silverstein will build 3 other towers.
It only goes to show: you have to read your policy wording! Check your own homeowners insurance carefully, before you assume you have the coverage you need.
Monique L. Attinger