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Financial services company Cantor Fitzgerald and American Airlines Group Inc., along with American Airlines’ insurers, have agreed to a $135 million settlement over alleged airline negligence concerning the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center.
Cantor Fitzgerald had claimed in a lawsuit that American Airlines was negligent in allowing five hijackers to board Flight 11 on 9/11. The company had offices in the north tower of the World Trade Center and lost 658 employees in the attack. In the lawsuit, Cantor Fitzgerald sought property damages as well as compensation for business interruption from American Airlines.
“For us, there is no way to describe this compromise with inapt words like ordinary, fair or reasonable,” Cantor Fitzgerald Chairman and CEO Howard Lutnick said in a statement, according to The Wall Street Journal. “All we can say is that the legal formality of this matter is over.”
American Airlines fought the deal for years but ultimately ended up agreeing to the $135 million figure. The settlement must be approved by U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein.
“American Airlines and the courageous crew members and passengers on Flight 77 and Flight 11 were all victims of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001,” said an American Airlines spokesman in a statement. The spokesman also said that the company “vigorously defended itself in litigation brought against it by property owners and their insurers.”
Cantor Fitzgerald has experience with this type of litigation, specifically dealing with the World Trade Center. Following a 1993 parking garage bombing at the World Trade Center, Cantor Fitzgerald pursued damages for business interruption after the company’s offices were vacated for one month following the attack. However, the New York Court of Appeals granted the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey immunity from claims of insufficient security measures in that case.
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