Lower federal courts had dismissed the families' lawsuit against the city, saying it acted responsibly in moving 1.6 million tons of materials from the site in Lower Manhattan to a landfill on Staten Island and then sifting through the material for human remains.The case is World Trade Center Families for Proper Burial, Inc. v. City of New York, New York, Dkt. No. 09-1467.
No remains have been found for roughly 1,100 of the 2,752 people killed on Sept. 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center. The families have said the landfill is not a proper burial site for their loved ones. They also argue that 223,000 tons of the material was never sifted for remains.
Officials say the material that is the subject of the litigation resulted from a 10-month search in which law enforcement authorities and others manually and mechanically searched World Trade Center material for evidence, personal belongings and human remains.
The families simply could not overcome the sheer size of the logistical endeavor that they claimed was necessary for relief. They wanted to remove 1.6 million tons of WTC debris from Fresh Kills and relocate it to another location. That would not have brought back the victims, nor would it have addressed the fact that the City was more than reasonable in picking Fresh Kills as a destination for the debris - and the City took reasonable precautions in searching materials delivered to Fresh Kills for remains.
Moreover, the City will be turning the area of Fresh Kills into a memorial/park for remembrances of what happened on 9/11 and to the victims of the attacks.