Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Battle For Ground Zero, Part 175

Businesses are still looking to New Jersey to find office space instead of at Ground Zero because of the sluggish pace of rebuilding on the Port Authority owned site. It appears that the Governor and Mayor are both focusing their attentions elsewhere - on the Javits Center expansion, West Side Yards, or even the Moyinhan station project (which appears to be DOA for the moment), when the most important project sitting on the table is not proceeding fast enough to take advantage of a favorable business climate.

Silver continues to block development anywhere and everywhere, and be assured that it has a ripple effect.

Meanwhile, Silverstein suffered a setback when he lost his appeal of the $4.6 billion insurance case on proceeds from the 9/11 attacks. The appellate court ruled that there was only one attack, not two. If the bench had ruled there were two separate attacks, Silverstein could have stood to gain nearly $7 billion.
Silverstein had insured the Twin Towers for $3.5 billion, but he sought to recover double that amount, saying the towers were victimized by two hijacked airplanes, meaning there were two attacks.

In one trial that ended in April 2004, a federal jury found the majority of the insurers, holding more than $1.8 billion of the policy were bound by a form that defined the destruction of the Twin Towers as one event.

In a second trial, which ended in December 2004, another jury concluded that nine insurance companies were bound by insurance form language that defined the destruction as two events. That verdict meant Silverstein will get another $1.1 billion to rebuild.

Lawyers on both sides had asked the appeals panel to take a fresh look at the outcomes of the two trials stemming from disagreements over nearly two dozen insurance policies.

The appeals court, in a written ruling, concluded unanimously that it was proper to let the juries decide whether the various insurance policies contained language defining the Twin Towers' destruction as one event or two events for insurance purposes.

It was proper to leave it to juries because "the word 'event' is susceptible to more than one reasonable interpretation," the appeals court said.

The Second Circuit said the insurance forms were designed with different interests in mind.

In a statement, Silverstein said the ruling meant the "time has come for all of the insurers to finally pay what they owe."
As if the horror of 9/11 ever ended for the thousands of families and friends who never got to see their loved ones again after the towers came down, we now find out that more remains were recovered from Ground Zero today.
A Consolidated Edison crew doing excavation of the manhole at street level found the remains, some as big as arm or leg bones, said Steve Coleman, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the site.

Con Ed said it entered the site Wednesday to remove material from two manholes that had been damaged and abandoned after the 2001 collapse of the twin towers.

Crews hauled the excavated materials Wednesday to a work center more than a mile away, as is customary, Con Edison said. On Thursday morning, a contractor working for the Port Authority realized the materials contained remains, Con Edison spokesman Chris Olert said, and the medical examiner’s office was contacted.
Remains have been found every few months in and around Ground Zero - many at the Deutsche Bank building, which is currently being prepared for deconstruction after taking severe damage from the collapsing towers. Via LGF.

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