An agreement has been reached to settle the $2 billion in remaining claims between Silverstein Properties, who was leasing the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, and seven insurance companies, bringing to an end almost six years of litigation.
The announcement, which was issued by New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and State Insurance Superintendent Eric R. Dinallo, allows Silverstein to move forward with the approved plans of reconstruction for the site.
Disputes about coverage and replacement costs began in Oct. 2001, beginning with whether to classify the terrorist attacks as one event or two (a court decision in June 2004 declared it one event). Last November, another judge ruled that replacement costs to rebuild the site could not include improvements, limiting the amount due to Silverstein to $4.7 billion.
According to a statement from Governor Spitzer, Silverstein Properties and the insurance companies have signed agreements that will keep the exact amounts paid by each company undisclosed, but the total for all seven companies is $2 billion. These agreements settle all outstanding court cases and related proceedings, on which the two sides have reportedly spent hundreds of millions of dollars on legal fees and other court-related costs.
Overall, this latest settlement would bring total 9/11-related insured losses to nearly $37 billion, according to the Insurance Information Institute, which reported that up until last week’s deal, the insurance industry as a whole had paid, in 2006 dollars, $35.9 billion in claims for terrorist attacks in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania.