By Agence France-Presse
November 7th, 2010
Thousands of rescue workers sickened after the September 11 attacks in New York have until the end of Monday to accept a settlement that could near 800 million dollars.
A settlement on Friday saw a subgroup of workers compensated 28 million dollars for exposure to debris removed and transferred from Ground Zero to Staten Island by marine transportation company Weeks Marine.
But US District Court Judge Alvin Hellerstein said in a related order that the plaintiffs could only claim compensation for it if they backed the larger agreement for up to 712.5 million dollars.
That settlement with New York City was reached in June and requires approval from 95 percent of the plaintiffs by 11:59 pm (0459 GMT) on Monday in order to be validated.
The proposed funds would be used for payments to the roughly 10,000 firefighters, health workers, police and other emergency responders who sought legal remedy after falling ill from toxic dust and debris emanating from the destroyed World Trade Center nine years ago.
Paul Napoli, who leads a legal team representing most of the plaintiffs, said he has since brokered additional agreements with other defendants, bringing the total potential compensation to 796.45 million dollars.
And further agreements are still possible, further increasing the amount.
Micheline Tang of Kekst and Company said proposed compensation from different defendants now totals 811.5 million dollars, but noted it could be inaccurate to aggregate the figures because different plaintiffs are suing different defendants.
“In… Continue reading →
by Nicholas Levis
Today brings the sad news that Beverly Eckert died in the crash of Flight 3407 on her way to Buffalo for a weekend celebration of what would have been her late husband Sean Rooney’s 58th birthday. She had planned to take part in a presentation at Canisius High School of a scholarship award that she established in Sean Rooney’s honor. Among the family members surviving her was her sister, Sue Borque, who told the Buffalo News that while the family had not yet received official confirmation of her sister’s fate, the reality was settling in. “We know she was on that plane,” Bourque said, “and now she’s with [Sean].” Her husband of 34 years, Sean Rooney had been killed in the South Tower of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11th, 2001.
Beverly Eckert devoted her life to serving others. I met this strong-willed and sensitive woman on a single occasion, in March 2004 when she welcomed me to her home in Connecticut for a few hours to conduct an interview about her advocacy work following September 11th. An insurance manager by profession, Eckert told the story of how she responded to the loss of her husband and the horror of the events. Hers was a beautiful and powerful voice and she speaks best on her own behalf:
“I guess I wish I wasn’t here, because it was such a different life before September 11th. I never envisioned myself speaking to the public having to say… Continue reading →
SPECIAL REPORT: SUING THE SAUDIS
Pinning the blame for 9/11
Special Report: A Phila. law firm wages an epic legal battle to win billions from Saudi Arabia.
By Chris Mondics, Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer
First of two parts.
Less than a mile from the mournful place in Lower Manhattan where the World Trade Center came crashing to the ground, in a hushed federal courthouse, a small band of Philadelphia lawyers is prying loose secrets of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
It is here that the Cozen O’Connor law firm has filed an 812-page lawsuit on behalf of U.S. and global insurance companies alleging that Saudi Arabia and Saudi-backed Islamist charities nurtured and financed al-Qaeda, the author of those deadly attacks.
Led by its flinty chairman and founder, Stephen Cozen, the firm has invested thousands of hours and millions of dollars to scour the world for witnesses, documents and other evidence in its attempt to hold the oil-rich desert kingdom liable for more than $5 billion in damages.
Among the companies represented in the lawsuit are Chubb, Ace, Allstate, One Beacon, and nearly three dozen other insurers.
“Our concern was whether there was a viable case to be made against the defendant,” Cozen said, “and whether the defendant could pay.”
Round 1 in this titanic legal battle went to the Saudis and their high-powered lawyers three years ago when a U.S. District Court judge removed the government and Saudi royals as defendants.
Defense lawyers have declined repeated requests for interviews,… Continue reading →
By Joseph Goldstein, Staff Reporter of the Sun
March 26, 2008
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
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 →
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 →
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.…Continue reading →
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Victoria Ashley, STJ911 committee member
Independent Investigators Release Suppressed Blueprints of Destroyed World Trade Center Tower Scans of original drawings of the North Tower of the World Trade Center have been published online by a coalition of independent 9/11 researchers and journalists.
Berkeley, CA (PRWEB) March 27, 2007 — A coalition of independent 9/11 investigators and journalists today announced the online publication of a set of original blueprints of the North Tower of the World Trade Center. The set is composed of over 200 never-before-published drawings, including plans, elevations, and details, given to physicist Dr. Steven E. Jones by an individual interested in a more complete analysis. Groups presenting the plans include Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice , 9-11 Research , and Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth . A multi-resolution drawing viewer for the blueprints is located at 9-11 Research ( 911research.wtc7.net ).
Richard Gage, AIA, Architect, the founder of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth , said, “We cannot truly understand what happened in these historical structural failure events when we are not allowed access to the construction documents.” Gage believes that, given the profound differences in the official collapse theories, the need for more investigation is clear. “First they come up with the “pancake theory”, then they changed it to the “column failure theory”. We don’t believe that either of those theories are supported by the available evidence.”
Since the 9/11 attacks, numerous groups and individuals have… Continue reading →
By AMY WESTFELDT
NEW YORK (Jan. 31) – Large steel columns from the fallen twin towers have been
found beneath a service road being excavated at ground zero in the search for
long-buried Sept. 11 remains, officials said Wednesday.
The surprising discovery of World Trade Center steel in the past week raises
more questions about what was left at ground zero in the cleanup after the 2001
attacks and how the service road was created in the first place.
The steel, found during a dig for human remains that has yielded nearly 300
bones in the past three months, includes two heavy beams that were stacked horizontally
in the landfill, as if moved and placed there, a person with direct knowledge
of the discovery told The Associated Press. The person was not authorized to
publicly discuss the findings and insisted on anonymity.
The discovery was confirmed by officials for the city and Port Authority of
New York and New Jersey, which owned the trade center.
The columns were about 18 feet long and perhaps 60 tons each. Officials believe
the steel columns, located a week ago just 2 to 3 feet below the surface of
the road, were deliberately set there at some point during the cleanup, perhaps
to stabilize heavy machinery in use at the time.
Deputy Mayor Ed Skyler, who is overseeing the search for remains, declined
to speculate on how the steel might have ended up where it did.
Digging was halted in the immediate area surrounding the steel columns until
the Port Authority removes the steel.…
Loose Change Filmmakers vs. Popular Mechanics Editors of “Debunking 9/11 Myths”
Monday, September 11th, 2006
September 11, 2001 – five years after the attacks many people are asking questions about what happened on that day in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. Websites, articles, books and documentaries have put forward a variety of alternate theories to the government’s account of what happened. The most popular of these is a documentary called “Loose Change.” Now, a book dealing with many of these theories has just been published by the magazine Popular Mechanics, it’s called “Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can’t Stand Up to the Facts.” In a Democracy Now! national broadcast exclusive, we host a debate between the filmmakers of Loose Change and the editors of Popular Mechanics on 9/11.
Amy Goodman: Today, a debate about 9/11.… Continue reading →
by Carol Brouillet
Oliver Stone’s films have deeply touched many people’s lives, including my own. His film, JFK, prompted me to research the CIA and catalyzed my activism. I wrote to Stone twice, when we were working on one of the first American 9/11 truth documentaries, and later when I heard that he was making a film about 9/11. I sent him materials, books, documentaries about 9/11, and encouraged him to tell William Rodriguez’s story. Rodriguez worked in the North Tower and rescued many people, miraculously he lived through the experience. He also heard explosions before the first plane crashed, and witnessed the injuries that those explosions caused. I thought that Rodriguez’s story deeply challenged the official narrative of 9/11, and could wake people up to the reality that “9/11 was an Inside Job,” perhaps the biggest “psychological operation” of all times.
Stone’s film, rather than casting light on the “defining event” of the century, retraumatizes the viewer, plunging them into an abyss of pain and suffering, into the dark and oblivious to the who, how, why, what, of the attacks. 9/11 has become the foundation stone used to terrify the American people and the world into supporting a “bogus war on terrorism,” the dismantling of the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, and has put the world back into the Dark Ages, pre-Magna Carta. The Administration asserts its power to kill, torture, assassinate anyone they label to be a “terrorist” and deem to be a threat to the “National Security State.”
Stone’s film centers on the narrative of two Port Authority police officers, trapped in the rubble, who are found by a Christian, who feels called by God to join the rescue efforts, and who signed up later for duty in Iraq to avenge his country.…Continue reading →
Arrests at Ground Zero
By Michael Kane
On March 18th, 2004, activists from the No Police State Coalition were vindicated in New York Criminal Court. Port Authority Police falsely arrested activists and claimed the sidewalk in front of Ground Zero was private property.
Free speech and free assembly are guaranteed at Ground Zero.
Jason Blank was one of the wrongfully arrested defendants. His case went before Judge Judith Levitt in New York State Criminal Court. The arrest dealt with a charge of trespassing on a public sidewalk that Port Authority police falsely claimed was private property. Angel Kelly spoke on the behalf of the Port Authority. Lt. Gilbert was present during the arrest on February 7, 2004. The following exchange is from transcripts of the case
- docket number 2004SN022190.
THE COURT: Was it inside the train station?
MS. KELLY: Not inside, but right at the entrance of it, which now leads up to the sidewalk. Before, previously, prior to 9/11 the Path Station was underground. Now the reconstructed temporary station now leads upward to the street level.
THE COURT: That’s the sidewalk. It says he was on the sidewalk.
LT. GILBERT: The train station it is all sidewalk to the exit. The entrance and exit that is part of the station.
THE COURT: But the sidewalk is a public place. It is not part of the premises of the Port Authority.
MS. KELLY: Your Honor, it is the possession of the Port Authority. That entire area is the… Continue reading →
CLICK ON HEADLINES OR EXCERPTS TO READ FULL ARTICLE
Essentials for activists
JUDGE: GROUND ZERO PERIMETER IS PUBLIC PROPERTY
THE COURT: That’s the sidewalk. It says he was on the sidewalk. LT. GILBERT: The train station it is all sidewalk to the exit. The entrance and exit that is part of the station. THE COURT: But the sidewalk is a public place. It is not part of the premises of the Port Authority. MS. KELLY: Your Honor, it is the possession of the Port Authority. That entire area is the property. THE COURT: It is your possession? It is the possession of the Port Authority? MS. KELLY: Ground Zero is technically the property of the Port Authority. THE COURT: Not the sidewalk surrounding Ground Zero, that”s a public sidewalk. Both cases are dismissed. MR. BLANK: Can I ask they be dismissed on constitutional grounds? THE COURT: Go away.
Pod Theory, “Whatzits” and the Pentagon Controversy
Frustrated 9/11 researchers may naturally wish for an instant smoking gun, a killer clue like the one invariably discovered by detectives on the TV show CSI, something to finish off the official story in a single blow. Unfortunately, this impulse invites a lot of breathless misinformation, spurious theories, or e-mail reports from fabricated whistleblowers. Many of these notions are packaged as bombshell revelations in the area of physical evidence. Read on for a discussion of “pod theory,” “whatzits” and the Pentagon controversy…