Owners of the World Trade Center cannot demand billions more dollars in compensation for the 9/11 attacks, a New York judge has ruled. The twin towers owners wanted more insurance money, in addition to the $5bn (£3.3bn) already claimed, from the airlines of the hijacked planes.
But lawyers for the airlines said the claims amounted to double compensation. Nearly 3,000 people died when al-Qaeda militants flew jets into the twin towers, causing their collapse. The judge ruled at the end of Thursday’s hearing, without a jury.
Developer Larry Silverstein and World Trade Center Properties argued in court that the airlines owed them at least $3.5bn for letting hijackers on to the planes that razed three skyscrapers – the twin towers as well as 7 World Trade Center.
A 47-storey building, 7 World Trade Center caught fire from falling debris and eventually collapsed.
But the lawyers for US Airways, United Airlines, American Airlines and parent company AMR Corp said a total recovery of $8.5bn would amount to more than two-and-a-half times the value of the original buildings.
The World Trade Center alleged that damage from 9/11 totalled as much as $7.2bn. It has cost more than $8bn to replace the three buildings. Owners of the World Trade Center have said they will appeal.