Con Ed suit against Silverstein and Citigroup at 7 WTC dismissed

A federal judge has dismissed negligence claims by Consolidated Edison over the fate of the original building at 7 World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, the New York Law Journal reported, after it collapsed into a Con Ed substation.

Southern District Judge Alvin Hellerstein said the events of that day were “much too improbable to be consistent with any duty” toward Con Ed by developer Larry Silverstein and Citigroup.

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Silverstein’s 7WTCo., an LLC controlled by Silverstein Properties, was charged with two counts of with negligence related to the development of the building. Tenants were apparently permitted to install diesel-fueled backup generators. Claims against Citigroup alleged that “an unreasonable amount of diesel fuel” in two 6,000-gallon tanks was incorporated into the design.

For Hellerstein, the idea that Silverstein and Citigroup could have foreseen these circumstances was just too far-fetched.

“It was not within 7WTCo.’s, or Citigroup’s, ‘range of apprehension’ that terrorists would slip through airport security, hijack an airplane, crash it suicidally into one of the two tallest skyscrapers in New York City, set off falling debris that would ignite a building several hundred feet away, cause structural damage to it, destroy water mains causing an internal sprinkler system to become inoperable, kill 343 firemen and paralyze the rest so that a fire within a building would not be put out and the building would be allowed to burn an entire day before it consumed itself and collapsed,” he said. [New York Law Journal]

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