Friday, July 29, 2011
The New York Times, in the linked article, reports that on Wednesday, Judge Alvin Hellerstein, after listening to arguments presented by lawyers for plaintiff Mary Bavis, on behalf of her son Mark who was in the United plane that struck the second tower, and attorneys for United Airlines, stated that he may permit the lawsuit to proceed to trial. This would be the first case from September 11, 2001 to be tried. The lawsuit seeks to recover terror damages in addition to damages for his wrongful death. Judge Hellerstein said his thinking is tending toward allowing terror damages. The lawsuit contends that the five hijackers who boarded flight 175 at Logan Airport in Boston were able to do so only because of gross negligence by United and a security firm, Huntleigh USA, that had been hired to run the checkpoint. The Bavis lawsuit has been widely watched over the nearly 10 years since it was filed, the article reports. Scheduled for trial in November 2011, it would be the only wrongful death lawsuit to proceed to trial stemming from September 11, 2001. Thousand of other victims received more than $7 billion in compensation through the Victim's Compensation Fund created by Congress. The article reports that a smaller group of just under 100 families and victims who filed lawsuits settled those cases for $500 million. Please join Judge Hellerstein, and Special Masters Kenneth Feinberg and Sheila Birnbaum, on September 8, 2011 at 12 noon Eastern Time for a webinar discussion of the lawsuits and Compensation Fund settlements. You can register for this teleconference by clicking here. For information about the September teleconferences, please visit the TIPS Disaster Initiative page.