hellerstein

Judge Hellerstein: "strange, improbable" events in WTC7 lawsuit

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"Hellerstein said it was not reasonable for Silverstein and Citigroup to foresee the 'strange, improbable, and attenuated chain of events that led to 7 World Trade Center's collapse and the crushing of Con Edison's substation.' He added: 'Nothing in common experience of history could give rise to a reasonably foreseeable risk relating to the chain of events flowing from the terrorists and their hijackings to the destruction of the Con Edison substation.'"

Citing scope of 9/11, NY judge tosses 7 WTC suit
September 23, 2011 7:21 PM

(AP) NEW YORK — In tossing out a negligence lawsuit, a judge on Friday cited the "strange, improbable" events that destroyed a 47-story World Trade Center building a decade ago on Sept. 11, several hours after the 110-story twin towers fell.

The claims by the Consolidated Edison Co. of New York were "too farfetched and tenuous" to survive, U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein said.

9/11 Justice Delayed is Justice Denied

On July 23, 2010 Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein published an order terminating motions in the 9/11 wrongful death cases of Barbara Keating and Sara Low.

After languishing in his court for years and being told by their attorneys that they had almost no chance of getting a trial on liability, a proposed settlement was proffered in Keating v. American Airlines, Inc. and Low v. U.S. Airways, Inc. Unfortunately the good judge essentially sat on the motions for several months, neither ruling for or against them.

Can you imagine how the Keating and Low families felt? After all this time a settlement is finally agreed upon by both the plaintiffs and the defendants and what does Hellerstein do? Nothing! He simply refuses to rule either way.

It was not a case of the plaintiffs withdrawing before approval could be granted. Rather, it was that approval, nor for that matter disapproval, was simply not forthcoming. After twisting in the wind for so long and having all their efforts to establish a public archive squashed, the Low family, in particular, was devastated.

9/11 Transparency Muzzled

Bruce Golding of the New York Post has done a good job of reporting on the 9/11 property damage litigation, with the exception of addressing the issue of transparency, or more correctly, the lack thereof.

On July 1, 2010 Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein issued an order granting a joint motion approving property damage settlements in 18 of 21 cases asserting property damage claims from the September 11, 2001 attack. The proposed amount , $1.2 billion, represents a 72% discount from the settling plaintiffs' total claimed damages of $4.4 billion.

The payouts are on hold pending a legal challenge by developer Larry Silverstein who's seeking $12 billion for his WTC losses. He didn't join in the settlement, which he said was "shrouded in secrecy" and involved "collusive" deals struck by insurers with interests on both sides of the table.

In a separate order, signed by Judge Hellerstein on the same day, he resolved the intervenor's motion to unseal documents. The New York Times had moved to unseal, and thereby make public, the motion filed to approve the property settlement.

Breaking News: Judge Approves 9/11 Settlements Worth $500 Million

http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2009/03/05/breaking-news-judge-approves-911-settlements-worth-500-million/
Breaking News: Judge Approves 9/11 Settlements Worth $500 Million
MARCH 5, 2009, 4:41 PM ET

This just in: A federal judge in New York has approved settlements in 92 of the 95 cases filed on behalf of those injured or killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The total amount paid was close to $500 million, according to the mediator in the case, Sheila Birnbaum, of Skadden, Arps. Click here for the early AP story; here for a copy of Judge Alvin Hellerstein’s order, which attaches Birnbaum’s report.

The lawsuits were brought by those who chose not to participate in the Victim’s Compensation Fund, a special fund Congress established that distributed more than $7 billion to more than 5,000 survivors.

Trial dates for the remaining three cases have not been set.

The order contains some remarkably glowing words for Birnbaum, a well-known mass-tort and product-liability lawyer, who just might think of framing the page from the West Reporter that ends up running the decision. It reads:

9/11 survivors press for open trial

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2008/12/15/911_survivors_press_for_open_trial/UPI-53031229371672/

NEW YORK, Dec. 15 (UPI) -- Family members of Sept. 11, 2001, victims say they're hoping a New York judge will allow a public trial of their suit against United and American airlines.

The survivors are suing the airlines, the owner of Boston's Logan International Airport and security companies for negligence in connection with the hijackings of American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, which left Boston with armed hijackers on board who forced the planes to fly into the World Trade Center.

Judge Alvin Hellerstein of U.S. District Court in Manhattan was set to hear their arguments Monday that a trial should proceed. The families say it would expose to public view the "fatal mistakes" made by Logan Airport officials, The Boston Globe reported.

To date, nearly 3,000 families have agreed to more than $7 billion in private settlements that averaged $2 million each from the federal Victims Compensation Fund, but no Sept. 11 negligence suits have yet proceeded to trial, the newspaper said.