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United 9/11: Judge: United Not Liable

November 22, 2012 by  

United 9/11: Judge: United Not Liable, United Airlines bears no responsibility for the collapse of a third World Trade Center building on September 11, 2001, stemming from suspected airport security lapses that allowed hijackers to crash an American Airlines plane into the complex, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein granted a request by United and its parent, United Continental Holdings Inc (UAL.N), to dismiss negligence claims by Larry Silverstein, the leaseholder of the World Trade Center property, over the destruction of 7 World Trade Center.

Tower 7 collapsed several hours after being pierced by debris from the crash of AMR Corp’s (AAMRQ.PK) American Airlines Flight 11 into the nearby 1 World Trade Center, one of the Twin Towers.

Two of the Flight 11 hijackers, Mohammed Atta and Abdul Aziz al Omari, had begun their trip to New York at the Portland International Jetport, in Maine. There, they boarded a flight by US Airways carrier Colgan Air to Boston’s Logan International Airport, from which they connected onto the American Airlines plane.

Silverstein said that because United was among the carriers that ran Portland’s only security checkpoint, it was legally responsible for the screening of all passengers and had missed a “clear chance” to prevent the hijacking.

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