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Judge Hellerstein

Hurdles Still Remain for Ground Zero Settlement

By Mireya Navarro
New York Times

Sgt. Dawn Sorrento says she looks on the years since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks as a blur of doctor’s visits, ambushes by illnesses she had never heard of and growing resentment toward the city that challenged her injury claims.

[RELATED: Ground Zero Workers Reach Deal Over Claims (March 12, 2010)]

Yet on Friday, Sergeant Sorrento, a police officer who is among some 10,000 rescue and cleanup workers at ground zero who sued the city for health damages, felt a grim sort of satisfaction. She had expected her case to be among the first to go to trial this spring; instead, both sides announced a legal settlement of up to $657.5 million Thursday night.

“It’s nice that someone took responsibility, finally,” said Sergeant Sorrento, 43, who helped coordinate the movement of cranes, dignitaries and cadaver-hunting dogs in and out of ground zero in September 2001. “The city finally acknowledges that 9/11 diseases do exist and that people are suffering.”

Officials cast the settlement as righting a historic wrong on Friday and predicted that it would assure speedy and just compensation to the workers, who have waited more than six years for a legal resolution. But significant hurdles remain.

Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein, of the United States District Court in Manhattan, has made clear that he intends to play a role in assuring that individuals are compensated fairly.

At a hearing on Friday, Judge Hellerstein said he would take a week to review the terms of the agreement and convene again next Friday to give his “initial impressions” and to hear from interested parties, including plaintiffs.…

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Lawyer says just 1 9-11 victim’s family likely to air evidence from WTC attacks at civil trial

by Larry Neumeister, Associated Press Writer
LATimes

NEW YORK (AP) — Nearly completed settlements of two of the remaining three lawsuits brought by families of victims of the Sept. 11 terrorism attacks are likely to include language requiring evidence to be displayed at the National 9/11 Memorial & Museum, a lawyer said Wednesday.

Attorney Mary Schiavo said the public display of evidence collected for trial by lawyers in the case was important to the families.

She called the museum a fitting place for it and said the materials were likely to be put in the museum’s reading room.

She commented outside a court hearing where lawyers announced they had settled 15 of 18 property damage cases stemming from the terrorism attacks for an undisclosed amount, including claims by the Windows on the World restaurant.

U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein said he expects he will insist the amounts be made public later because of the “extreme public interest” in the cases.

Schiavo said families were close to settling cases stemming from the deaths of Sara Low, 28, a Boston-based flight attendant who died when American Airlines Flight 11 struck the World Trade Center, and Barbara Keating, 72, of Palm Springs, Fla., who was also aboard American Flight 11.

The lawyer said the remaining family was unlikely to settle its case on behalf of Mark Bavis, 31, of West Newton, Mass., a scout for the Los Angeles Kings professional hockey team. He was aboard United Flight 175, which also struck the… Continue reading

Judge defends pretrial secrecy of 9/11 documents

By LARRY NEUMEISTER
Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — NEW YORK — A judge said Wednesday he favors keeping Sept. 11-related documents and interviews secret until the trials for several families of victims suing the airline industry, an opinion that upset several victims’ family members.

Donald Migliori, a lawyer for families of three people who died on hijacked planes in the 2001 attacks, asked U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein to make nearly a million pages of evidence and 200 depositions public, saying there was no reason for secrecy.

Hellerstein did not rule, but he said he favored not publically disclosing evidence that had been gathered and shared with lawyers for the victims under a confidentiality agreement until a trial occurs. No trial has yet been scheduled.

He said the confidentiality agreement speeded a pretrial process that enabled more than 90 families of victims of the Sept. 11 attacks to settle their cases. Only three families have not settled.

Michael Rowe Feagley, a lawyer for the aviation defendants, said it would not be fair to make all of the pretrial evidence public now, especially since defendants had turned over so much with the understanding that it would remain confidential before trial. He said it would take “extraordinary circumstances and an extreme need for it” to force its public release.

Mike Low, the father of a flight attendant who died on one of the hijacked planes, said afterwards that he was disappointed but not surprised by Hellerstein’s position.

Low sued in spring 2003 on behalf of his daughter, Sara Low, 28, a Boston-based flight attendant who died when American Airlines Flight 11 struck the World Trade Center.…

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Court Clears Way for 9/11 Illness Lawsuit

By Joseph Goldstein, Staff Reporter of the Sun
March 26, 2008

whitmanbushA
federal appeals court has refused to give New York City immunity from the lawsuits
of thousands of city workers and construction laborers who say they now suffer
from respiratory illnesses after they helped clean up ground zero in the aftermath
of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

The lawsuits claim that the city failed to ensure that ground zero was a safe
work place. High among the claims is the assertion that the city failed to enforce
rules requiring workers to wear respirators while working amid the toxins and
rubble.

Citing the unprecedented nature of the disaster, New York City and the Port
Authority of New York and New Jersey, both defendants in the suits, have argued
that they are entitled to immunity from the claims. The defendants say they
cannot be required to pay out to the workers what could amount to billions of
dollars in damages.

The first significant ruling in the case came in 2006, when a federal district
judge in Manhattan, Alvin Hellerstein, found that the city was only entitled
to immunity for its conduct in the days immediately after the terrorist attacks.
The lawsuits could go forward against the city’s wishes, Judge Hellerstein ruled,
to give workers the chance to prove their claims that ground zero remained an
unsafe work environment even weeks and months after September 11, 2001.

The city and port authority appealed. In a victory for the ailing workers,
today?s… Continue reading

Developer (Silverstein) Sues to Win $12.3 Billion in 9/11 Attack

March 27, 2008
By Anemona Hartocollis

Larry A. Silverstein, who has won nearly $4.6 billion in insurance payments to cover his losses and help him rebuild at the World Trade Center site, is seeking $12.3 billion in damages from airlines and airport security companies for the 9/11 attack.

Mr. Silverstein, the developer of ground zero, sought the damages, whose amount was not previously known, in a claim filed in 2004, that says the airlines and airport security companies failed to prevent terrorists from hijacking the planes used to destroy the buildings.

His case was consolidated last week with similar, earlier lawsuits brought by families of some victims of the attack and by other property owners. But in seeking $12.3 billion, he is by far the biggest claimant in the litigation.

The size of Mr. Silverstein’s claim was revealed last week at a status conference on the litigation in United States District Court in Manhattan.

The claims by the parties involved total about $23 billion, and Mr. Silverstein’s claim for such a large chunk could jeopardize claims from other businesses and property owners, according to defense lawyers. A lawyer for the victims’ families, Donald Migliori, said he was confident that their claims would not be affected because they would take priority over the property claims.

A lawyer for the airlines, Desmond Barry, said that if Mr. Silverstein won his claim, he could push the total claims beyond the amount of insurance that the airlines and security companies have available. “There ain’t… Continue reading

Settlements Do Not Deter 9/11 Plaintiffs Seeking Trials

By ANEMONA HARTOCOLLIS

Families of 14 of the people killed in the planes hijacked on Sept. 11, 2001, have settled their lawsuits, but relatives of other victims said yesterday that they would continue fighting in court to address their questions about how Islamic terrorists bypassed airport security, commandeered four jets and killed thousands of people.

One of those relatives, Mike Low, whose 28-year-old daughter, Sara, was a flight attendant on American Airlines Flight 11, the first plane to strike the World Trade Center, said he was not deterred by the settlements, which were filed Monday in Federal District Court in Manhattan.

“The frustrating thing is not having a trial date,” he said yesterday. “The wheels of justice turn excruciatingly slow. It doesn’t change my mind any. My desire and goal is to try to find some answers. I want to know why Abdulaziz Alomari and Mohamed Atta were allowed to walk on planes in Portland, Me., with prohibited weapons. I want somebody to tell me why that happened.”

The 14 settlements came a few days after the families won a ruling in Federal District Court in Manhattan that would have allowed a jury to hear a few minutes of a cockpit recording that captured the sounds of passengers trying to retake control of United Airlines Flight 93 before it crashed into a field in Pennsylvania.

Donald Migliori, a lawyer whose firm was involved in negotiating all of the settlements, said yesterday that Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein’s ruling on the recording last week had moved settlement talks forward.…

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THE TOP 40 Reasons to Doubt the Official Story

THE TOP 40

REASONS TO DOUBT THE OFFICIAL STORY OF SEPTEMBER 11th, 2001

… An outline in simple talking points …

We are continuing to compile the best documentation links for every single point on this page, and intend to post the updated version as soon as possible, and create teaching tools and more from the info. This is a significant and time-consuming process–if you have useful links, please send them to janice[at]911truth[dot]org. Thanks for your help!
If you use the search function with title key words, you will discover that 911Truth.org is home to articles backing virtually every point made below. Much of the basic research is available at the Complete 9/11 Timeline (hosted by cooperativeresearch.org), the 9/11 Reading Room (911readingroom.org), and the NY Attorney General Spitzer petition and complaint (Justicefor911.org). For physical evidence discussion, see Point 7.

THE DAY ITSELF – EVIDENCE OF COMPLICITY

1) AWOL Chain of Command
a. It is well documented that the officials topping the chain of command for response to a domestic attack – George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Myers, Montague Winfield, Ralph Eberhart – all found reason to do something else during the actual attacks, other than assuming their duties as decision-makers.
b. Who was actually in charge? Dick Cheney, Richard Clarke, Norman Mineta and the 9/11 Commission directly conflict in their accounts of top-level response to the unfolding events, such that several (or all) of them must be lying.

2) Air… Continue reading

Whitman Denies Misleading Public on Air Quality After 9/11

Source: www.nytimes.com

Given the scope of the tragedy from last week, I am glad to reassure the people of New York and Washington, D.C., that their air is safe to breathe and their water is safe to drink.” – Christie Todd Whitman

Christie Whitman, former EPA Director, insists that tons of debris filled with toxins spewed into the air during the attacks posed no health threat. The thousands of rescue workers and residents who are suffering from all kinds of health problems including “the 9/11 cough” are all coincidental. For anyone who finds it difficult to believe our government could be complicit in the deaths of nearly 3,000 people, analyze this obvious lie to cover up a crime of government fraud and malfeasance committed against hundreds of thousands of people who live and work in lower Manhattan. – Ed.

By JULIA PRESTON

Published: February 4, 2006

Christie Whitman, the former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, yesterday rejected as “completely inaccurate” a federal judge’s ruling that found she had misled people near the World Trade Center site about the risks of air contamination after the Sept. 11 attack.

In a statement, Mrs. Whitman disputed the ruling on Thursday by Judge Deborah A. Batts of Federal District Court in Manhattan. Judge Batts decided not to dismiss a class-action suit against Mrs. Whitman and the E.P.A. on behalf of residents and schoolchildren from the area near ground zero, finding that Mrs. Whitman had falsely reassured them in the days after… Continue reading