Silverstein can’t seek $3.5B in damages from airlines over 9/11, judge rules

July 19, 2013 08:30AM

Larry Silverstein of Silverstein Properties will not be allowed to seek $3.5 billion from airlines whose planes were hijacked and used in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, Bloomberg News reported.Silverstein has already collected $4.1 billion from insurers and cannot collect twice under New York law, U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein ruled yesterday.

“If this case were to go forward, the WTC companies would not be able to recover anything against the airlines,” Hellerstein said at the ruling. He dismissed notions, however, that Silverstein was seeking to profit from the attacks, deeming him among the “heroes” who sought to “create beauty out of the destruction.”

Silverstein’s lawyers had argued that their client should be allowed to seek additional damages in civil cases stemming from 9/11, because the insurance payout didn’t account for certain losses such as lost rent from tenants and replacement costs for the buildings.

But Hellerstein said that “when such a link is made between an insurance payout and a specific type of loss, collecting on that same type of loss is barred under New York law.”

“We are gratified by the judge’s decision,” a spokesman for American Airlines, one of the airlines sued by Silverstein, said in a statement to Bloomberg News. [Bloomberg News]  – Hiten Samtani