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ZippyTheChimp
April 26th, 2003, 01:23 PM
Report: WTC Collapse Was Two Events

By The Associated Press

April 23, 2003, 1:57 PM EDT

The twin skyscrapers of the World Trade Center collapsed because their inner cores were weakened by fire, but the south tower's destruction had no direct bearing on the later fall of the north tower, an engineering firm's study says.

The analysis, made public on Wednesday, was conducted by Weidlinger Associates, a company hired by trade center leaseholder Larry Silverstein.

Silverstein is battling his insurers in federal court over whether the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorism with hijacked jetliners was one event, justifying a single $3.5 billion payout, or, as he contends, two separate attacks.

The Weidlinger findings _ first disclosed several months ago but presented in detail on Wednesday _ contradict a 2002 federal study which said the towers' weak floor supports gave way, triggering total collapse of the 110-story buildings.

Matthys Levy, speaking for the firm, said its experts found that the floor trusses had stood the entire time.

He said flying debris from the Boeing 767 jetliners scraped fireproofing from the steel support columns on the impacted floors, which were then weakened by the intense heat of fuel-driven fires.

"It was the fire ... causing the failure of the steel columns and that caused the collapse," he said.

But the fall of the south tower, about an hour after it was hit, had no effect on the north tower, which was then still standing even though it had been struck first, Levy said.

The jetliners hit the buildings from opposite directions. Levy said debris from the collapsing south tower caused only minor damage to the facade of the north tower.

"It was clearly two events," Levy said.

Levy said the second plane, United Air Lines flight 175, hit the south side of the south tower at such an angle that a corner of the inner core was taken out, fatally weakening the structure.

In contrast, American Airlines Flight 11 struck the north side of the north tower more centrally, allowing a more even distribution of weight to undamaged columns and keeping the building upright longer.

Nearly 2,800 people perished at the World Trade Center. Another 184 were killed in a simultaneous attack on the Pentagon and the crash of a fourth hijacked jetliner in Pennsylvania.

Levy said he had presented his material to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which has taken over the official federal investigation of the trade center disaster.

Michael Newman, a NIST spokesman, said the agency was considering that hypothesis along with the alternative suggesting floor supports did collapse, and plans to present a progress report next month.

* * * * * * * * * * * *--------------------


Of all the question marks concerning rebuilding, I consider this one the most important.

The firm was retained by Silverstein. I'm sure we will get a report from the insurance companies with a different slant.

JMGarcia
April 26th, 2003, 02:08 PM
I am sure just about everyone involved would prefer to see this as two events (more money to spread around) except for the insurance company.

dbhstockton
April 26th, 2003, 02:47 PM
I think most people with any common sense would see this as two events. *If only one plane had hit, Silverstein would probably still have one perfectly good 5-million sq ft tower to work with. *But since the towers were attacked a second time, he lost both towers. *You can't blame the insurers for trying to put up a fight, though. *The stakes are ludicrously high.

NyC MaNiAc
April 26th, 2003, 03:01 PM
Yes, but no doubt, this was 2 seperate attacks.

It's like comparing the downed airliner in pennsylvania and the one that crashed into the pentagon. The hijackers wanted to do the same thing (Kill innocent americans) yet it was 2 seperate attacks.

It is just the same with the Twin Towers. So here's the question...is it better that Silverstein would be getting more money? I mean, who knows with that guy...

ZippyTheChimp
April 26th, 2003, 03:13 PM
Yes.

The insurance proceeds must go toward replacement. The more he gets, the more he spends. The more he spends, the nicer it is.

Court arguments are not always so obvious. The claim will probably be made that the damage to one building caused the collapse of the other. This has to be countered with evidence, not just the fact that there were two planes. That's why engineering reports will be critical.

Kris
September 26th, 2003, 12:49 PM
Trade Center Developer Suffers Setback in Insurance Dispute

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Filed at 6:26 p.m. ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- A federal appeals court ruled Friday that three World Trade Center insurers can treat the 2001 attack as a single event, but said a jury should decide whether other policies let leaseholder Larry Silverstein collect twice the insurance.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said contracts for three of the 22 insurers clearly call the terrorism one event in terms of coverage. But policies are unclear for the rest of the companies, the court said.

``To be sure, a jury could find two occurrences in this case ... or it could find that the terrorist attack, although manifested in two separate airplane crashes, was a single, continuous, planned event causing a continuum of damage that resulted in the total destruction of the WTC, and thus, was a single occurrence,'' the court said.

Silverstein Properties had asked the appeals court to declare that state law required the terrorist attack to be viewed as two occurrences, thus letting it collect $7 billion rather than $3.5 billion.

Silverstein estimates its losses related to the terrorism at $8.2 billion. The total includes $5.7 billion for the twin 110-story skyscrapers, retail property and buildings 4 and 5, which were destroyed.

The appeals court said Judge John S. Martin last year was correct to conclude that the term ``occurrence'' is sufficiently ambiguous under New York law to permit a jury to view evidence on a case-by-case basis.

Swiss Reinsurance Ltd., responsible for 22 percent of the coverage, will be among those going to trial.

Barry Ostrager, a lawyer for Swiss Re, said the company may ask a judge to rule in its favor before trial because the court ruling is such a victory for the insurers.

Howard J. Rubenstein, a spokesman for Silverstein, said he was confident a jury would reject the insurers' attempts to avoid paying for the cost of rebuilding the trade center.

The appeals court ruling settles contracts with Hartford Fire Insurance Co. and St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co., and one of two contracts with Royal Indemnity Co. Silverstein Properties had said the three insurance companies accounted for only $112 million of coverage.

No trial date has been set for the remaining cases.


Copyright 2003 The Associated Press

Freedom Tower
September 26th, 2003, 11:22 PM
Yeah there should be no debate. Two seperate hijacked planes, two seperate buildings. If any one of those planes had been shot down, or taken over by the passengers then one of the towers would still be standing. It is obvious.

Kris
September 27th, 2003, 02:13 AM
Developer Loses Ruling in Trade Center Insurance Dispute

By CHARLES V. BAGLI

Larry A. Silverstein, the developer who controls the commercial leases at the World Trade Center site, suffered a major setback yesterday in his effort to collect $7 billion in insurance payouts by having the Sept. 11 disaster considered as two separate terrorist attacks.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit rejected Mr. Silverstein's argument that as a matter of law, the two planes that struck the trade center constituted two attacks requiring two insurance payouts. In addition, a separate ruling, involving three companies that insured the trade center, could make it more difficult for Mr. Silverstein to press his claim against 18 other insurance companies.

The ruling raises troubling questions for Mr. Silverstein, as well as city, state and federal officials, as to how much money will ultimately be available for rebuilding the 16-acre site. Most analysts expect it will cost more than $7 billion to rebuild the office towers and retail operations that once occupied the site, let alone the proposed transit center, memorial and museum.

Governor George E. Pataki has made it a political priority that Mr. Silverstein begin building the first tower on the site next year, at a cost of $1.5 billion, on top of the $600 million that has already been spent on rent, debt service and other fees. If Mr. Silverstein loses his insurance case and gets only $3.5 billion, there may not be much money left for any additional buildings.

In a unanimous ruling, the appeals court determined that three insurance companies — Hartford Fire Insurance, Royal Indemnity and St. Paul Fire and Marine — are obligated to pay only the amount of their policies, a total of $112 million, under what is known as a Wilprop form, one of the two proposed policies used in the coverage. In a second ruling, the court upheld a lower court decision that a jury must determine whether Mr. Silverstein is entitled to one or two payments under the other policy, known as a Travelers form. These issues arose from a long-running series of lawsuits between Mr. Silverstein and the insurers.

Mr. Silverstein contended that since two planes attacked the two towers at different times, he should be paid double the $3.55 billion amount of his policies.

"The Second Circuit single-handedly rejected almost every argument Silverstein makes," said Geoff Heineman, a managing partner at the law firm of Ohrenstein & Brown and an expert in insurance litigation and regulation. "It suggests that there may be substantially less money than anticipated for rebuilding the site. A jury will ultimately decide."

A trial in United States District Court in Manhattan is not expected to begin before early next year.

The ruling may further exacerbate tensions between Mr. Silverstein and the GMAC Commercial Mortgage Corporation, which has been concerned about whether its $563 million loan to Mr. Silverstein is secure. The lender had gone to court to freeze insurance payments to Mr. Silverstein and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the land and is a party to the lawsuit with insurance companies.

GMAC controls a bank account holding $1.3 billion in insurance proceeds destined for the rebuilding. An additional $600 million in proceeds has already been spent on rent, debt service and fees. Fearing that there may not be enough money to go around, GMAC wants to set aside some of the insurance money to cover its loan. Earlier this week, GMAC agreed to give Mr. Silverstein and the Port Authority a month to put together a settlement proposal or pay off the loan.

Mr. Silverstein issued a statement yesterday expressing disappointment with the Second Circuit's ruling. He took solace in the fact that the decision applied to only 3 percent of the total insurance coverage, while the rest would be determined on a case-by-case basis.

"While we had hoped that the Second Circuit would rule that the events of Sept. 11 constituted two occurrences as a matter of law, we are fully confident that a jury hearing all the evidence will reject the insurers' attempts to avoid paying," said Howard J. Rubenstein, a spokesman for Mr. Silverstein.

The Port Authority issued a statement yesterday saying it was confident that Mr. Silverstein would ultimately prevail and reiterating its contention that the destruction of the trade center constituted two attacks, and therefore two "occurrences."

In any event, the insurers involved in the decision were ecstatic.

"It's a smashing victory for insurers," said Michael Barr, a lawyer for Royal Indemnity. "The court's decision is a victory for common sense and the plain meaning of words."

Harvey Kurzweil, a lawyer for Travelers, said, "This vindicates Travelers' position that a jury should be permitted to decide whether this was a single coordinated terrorist attack constituting one occurrence under the Travelers policy."

The insurance dispute is complicated by the fact that Mr. Silverstein took control of the commercial space at the trade center in July 2001, only seven weeks before the terrorist attack. At that point, his insurance companies had signed binders pledging to provide $3.55 billion in coverage per occurrence, but the final documents had not been completed.

Mr. Silverstein's insurance broker had drawn up the Wilprop form in an effort to limit the number of deductibles in the event of a claim and presented it to potential insurers. Travelers, however, insisted that its own form be used.

Most companies dispute Mr. Silverstein's claim that Travelers, with its relatively small piece of the total insurance coverage, was the "lead" insurer and everyone else agreed to follow suit. The Travelers form, Mr. Silverstein maintained, had a less specific definition of "occurrence," making it easier to claim that the destruction of the trade center justified a double payment.

But the Second Circuit upheld a lower court decision that it was by no means certain; a jury must decide.


Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

NoyokA
September 27th, 2003, 10:10 AM
Soo stupid. And this is not the last we will hear from Silverstein. This ruling is bogus.

Chicagoan
September 27th, 2003, 11:21 AM
The twin skyscrapers of the World Trade Center collapsed because their inner cores were weakened by fire, but the south tower's destruction had no direct bearing on the later fall of the north tower, an engineering firm's study says.

This is the first time I have read/heard of this. If this engineering firm came up with this as the cause of the collapse, then I am skeptical of their skills.

Zippy, Is the report accessible anywhere on the web?

ZippyTheChimp
September 27th, 2003, 12:13 PM
I could not find the report on the company's webpage. A Google search produced several pages of sites - but those that I checked only made reference to the findings, not the report itself.

Jjrlong254
September 28th, 2003, 09:52 PM
Message deleted.

Chicagoan
September 28th, 2003, 10:00 PM
I think money has more to do with this than anything else. But I am leaning to think of it has two separate events. It is possible that any one of those planse could have been stopped and one did not depend on the other.

This is along the lines of forensics and our daily lives does not fit within that realm.Two people can get shot, but the cause of death for one be the act of being shot whereas for the other it is massive internal hemorraging.

Just pay what it would cost to replace the complex as it was, even if that does not cover the cost of rebuilding. That seems fair.

Jjrlong254
September 28th, 2003, 10:03 PM
Just pay what it would cost to replace the complex as it was, even if that does not cover the cost of rebuilding. That seems fair.

That doesn't sound feasible. You have to pay more to make the buildings and the surrounding areas safer. We don't want to see another 2,800 or more people killed by bin Laden's thugs anymore!

ZippyTheChimp
September 28th, 2003, 10:15 PM
The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit rejected Mr. Silverstein's argument that as a matter of law, the two planes that struck the trade center constituted two attacks requiring two insurance payouts.



In a second ruling, the court upheld a lower court decision that a jury must determine whether Mr. Silverstein is entitled to one or two payments under the other policy, known as a Travelers form.
The key in the first ruling is that the court rejected it as a matter of law. The way the policies are written is the determing factor. In the second ruling, the policies covering the other 97% would have to be litigated in a jury trial.

How would it make any difference to the argument if the planes hit simultaneously?

Jjrlong254
September 28th, 2003, 10:47 PM
Message deleted.

ZippyTheChimp
September 28th, 2003, 11:05 PM
First of all, never explain an event with a similar analogy. Now we have to debate whether the soldiers were killed in separate attacks.

The argument in court will be whether the two planes were separate incidents (one plane hits one building, one plane hits another building), or whether the coordinated planning and implimentation of the attack was one event, regardless of if they hit at the same time.

I thought you weren't going to post here anymore.

I know - we rock :)

TonyO
September 28th, 2003, 11:11 PM
A friend of mine in the commercial insurance industry feels that it was a single event (of course he would). And it can be easily argued that it was a single event.

However, what if the second plane had missed the south tower and crashed into another building instead? Would that not be two different insurance claims? The Pentagon's insurance claims surely weren't lumped into the trade center's.

ZippyTheChimp
September 28th, 2003, 11:18 PM
I agree. I'm sure that argument will come up. The counter will be that there were two attacks, one on DC and one on NY. That's why this has to go to a jury trial.

Chicagoan
September 28th, 2003, 11:34 PM
That doesn't sound feasible. You have to pay more to make the buildings and the surrounding areas safer. We don't want to see another 2,800 or more people killed by bin Laden's thugs anymore!

Feasibility has nothing to do with the insurance industry and that makes sense. Other properties, homes for example, are insured for thier value/what it would take to replace them. If Silverstein wants to make the buildings safer, which is a very subjective point ( meaning that could mean so many things) then let him get a loan, like all other builders, to construct his towers.

The insurance industry could not exist if such a huge subjective element was to be added to the equation.

ZippyTheChimp
January 2nd, 2004, 12:19 AM
Setback for WTC Leaseholder

Ruling hurts effort to collect insurance

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

January 1, 2004

A judge dealt a blow yesterday to World Trade Center leaseholder Larry Silverstein's effort to collect twice the insurance for the Sept. 11 terror attack, saying a jury can be told about an appeals court ruling unfavorable to Silverstein.

U.S. District Judge Michael Mukasey in Manhattan made the ruling after warning both sides in the dispute to keep their bickering to themselves and "lower the tide of bile that is lapping at the tops of my shoes."

Mukasey has repeatedly urged both sides to reach agreement and warned again yesterday that settling their differences will avoid the "more painful process" of waiting for him to decide issues for them.

Silverstein's lawyer, Herbert Wachtell, felt the pain almost immediately, telling Mukasey that telling the jury of the ruling by the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals would be "highly prejudicial."

In September, the appeals court upheld the findings of a judge who found that contracts for three of the 22 companies insuring the trade center complex make it clear terrorism represented one occurrence for them, not two.

The appeals court said a jury could decide the fate of the other insurance companies, depending on what the evidence showed.

"To be sure, a jury could find two occurrences in this case ... or it could find that the terrorist attack, although manifested in two separate airplane crashes, was a single, continuous, planned event causing a continuum of damage that resulted in the total destruction of the WTC, and thus, was a single occurrence," it said.

Silverstein estimates losses from terrorism at $8.2 billion. The total includes $5.7 billion for the twin 110-story skyscrapers, retail property at the site and buildings 4 and 5, which were destroyed.

Yesterday, Silverstein spokeswoman Suzi Halpin said: "We look forward to the jury trial in February and are confident the truth will prevail. Larry Silverstein paid his premiums to fully insure the twin towers. We believe a jury will recognize that the insurance companies should pay what they owe."

A trial is scheduled to begin on Feb. 9. Mukasey said he will not allow written questionnaires to be given to jurors, saying it slows the process and was not necessary.

Copyright © 2003, Newsday, Inc.

Clarknt67
January 2nd, 2004, 12:01 PM
I think most people with any common sense would see this as two events. *If only one plane had hit, Silverstein would probably still have one perfectly good 5-million sq ft tower to work with.

That's the standard that I think applies. Two planes: two downed towers: two events. One Plane: One downed Tower: one event. Seems pretty elementary to me.

BPC
January 4th, 2004, 12:47 AM
Folks, Silverstein's lawsuit does not involve this sort of metaphysical debate over the meaning of an "event." I haven't been closely following this case, but from what I have read, the term is defined in the insurance policies at issue. As anyone who has ever read any of his or her own personal insurance policies can attest, insurers typically try to foresee most every eventuality and draft language to anticipate it and thereby provide as narrow coverage as possible. Here, it is my understanding that the term "event" is not defined as it is used in common usage. Rather, it is my understanding that "event" is defined in the policy to include, as one event, any of a collection of only loosely related occurrences over some extended period of time. Accordingly, under that definition, the insurer may well be right and Silverstein may be in trouble(and with it our hopes for a rebuilt WTC) .

On the plus side, New York law provides that any ambiguity in an insurance policy must be construed AGAINST the insurer and IN FAVOR OF any reasonable interpretation which provides greater coverage. In other words, any benefit of the doubt should go to Silverstein. Also on the plus side, the Court of Appeals' decision from a few months ago is not as bad as portrayed in some of these articles. The only thing that Court ruled is that the meaning of "event" was a factual matter to be resolved by the jury, not a purely legal one which the Court could decide in Silverstein's favor as a matter of law. The jury may well have the same reaction as the persons posting here. Finally, it should be noted that Silverstein's lawyer, Herb Wachtell, is one of the most well-regarded complex commercial litigators in the world, and that his firm, Wachtell Lipton, is usually regarded as one of the two or three best (or at least most expensive). Accordingly, Silverstein is in good hands.

BPC
January 4th, 2004, 08:57 PM
THE ATTACHED GIVES A LITTLE MORE INFO ABOUT THE CASE.


WTC Judge to Litigants: 'Lower the Tide of Bile'
January 2, 2004

... As it now stands, Judge Mukasey has split the lawsuit into a separate series that would include three trials. The first would settle the question as to which binding forms determine coverage. The WilProp form, which includes the term "an occurrence or series of occurrences" in reference to losses, supports Swiss Re's "one occurrence" theory. The Travelers form doesn't contain such language and is relied on by Silverstein to support his "two occurrence" position. Each of the 19 insurance companies would be entitled to a decision.

A second trial would address the issue of whether the destruction of the WTC was one or two occurrences, as far as each insurer is concerned, based on the coverage language decisions of the first trial.

A third trial would assess the amount of recovery Silverstein and the Port Authority are entitled to receive based on those decisions. An earlier court decision in favor of three insurance companies, which found that they had relied exclusively on the WilProp form, has been upheld on Appeal. ...

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/newswire/east/2004/01/02/35359.htm

Agglomeration
January 4th, 2004, 11:22 PM
Larry Silverstein is about 73 years old. I wonder if he'll last long enough to see the Freedom Tower built. Personally though I doubt it; Silverstein seems to be an angry-looking man, and I'm not surprised that Westfield and Marriot bought themselves out rather than do business with this money-grubber.

BPC
January 5th, 2004, 12:11 AM
Larry Silverstein is about 73 years old. I wonder if he'll last long enough to see the Freedom Tower built. Personally though I doubt it; Silverstein seems to be an angry-looking man, and I'm not surprised that Westfield and Marriot bought themselves out rather than do business with this money-grubber.

Westfield and Marriot did not buy themselves out. The Port Authority bought out these stakeholders because the agency wanted to do something with the site (namely, place a 4.5 acre memorial in the middle of it) that precluded these alternative uses.

JMGarcia
January 5th, 2004, 12:42 AM
Both Marriott and Westfield have retained the right of first refusal for the new hotel and retail space planned for the site. They will get first dibs on whatever is going to be leased out.

Ninjahedge
January 5th, 2004, 12:52 PM
I guess they are lumping the collapse of the towers together as if they were hit by a hurricane, earthquake or other event that would cause damage to both structures.

Since the two were not insures as seperate structures (dumb) I believe that they should be seen as being damaged by one "event". Legally speaking.

I hate the insurance companies, but having them responsible for paying for everything is just not fair.

ZippyTheChimp
January 5th, 2004, 03:01 PM
The ruling (and the uphold on appeal) pertains to the terms of the insurance policies, not as to whether the attack was one or two events. If the court ruled that it was one or two incidents, there would be no jury trial.

Another article (I highlighted the text)
Source: http://www.hoovers.com/silverstein-properties/--ID__103844,ArticleID__NR20031216200.1_027b000adc40 7f3a--/free-co-news-detail.xhtml

Appeals Court Denies Silverstein Motion for a Rehearing

December 16, 2003 12:47pm
BestWire Services

NEW YORK (BestWire) - An appeals court in New York has denied World Trade Center leaseholder Silverstein Properties a rehearing in a case that found that the destruction of the Twin Towers was a single occurrence in the case of three insurance companies.

In a Dec. 15 order, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York denied Larry Silverstein's petition for a panel rehearing in a case involving Hartford Fire Insurance Co., Royal Indemnity Co. and St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Co. The ruling upholds a U.S. District Court decision that the destruction of the World Trade Center was a single occurrence.

Several insurers are involved in litigation with Silverstein over whether or not the terrorism catastrophe that caused the World Trade Center towers to fall on Sept. 11, 2001, was one event or two. But this order applies to an April 2002 ruling in which U.S. District Judge John S. Martin decided that three of the insurers--Hartford, Royal and St. Paul, representing a combined 3% of the total coverage--all based their coverage on the so-called "WilProp" insurance form, developed by broker Willis Group Holdings Ltd. The court has determined that the WilProp form would treat the loss as a single event (BestWire, Oct. 29, 2003).

In July 2001, Silverstein Properties and an associated firm, Westfield Properties, signed a 99-year lease with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to manage the World Trade Center. Because no formal insurance contract was in place by the time the complex was destroyed, Silverstein and the insurers have disputed which binder form should be considered as in force.

"The decision denying Silverstein's request to reappeal his losses speaks for itself," said Michael McNamara, a spokesman for Swiss Re America, which is liable for 22% of the World Trade Center coverage. Swiss Re and 19 other insurers have argued that their coverage likewise was bound by the WilProp form.

The first of three phases of Swiss Re's trial is to begin in February 2004. The first phase will involve determining whether any of the insurers and reinsurers were bound under the form. In the second phase, any insurers not bound by WilProp would have to state their case that the destruction of the World Trade Center was one event rather than two under the insurance form used. If that phase determines that the insurance form used defined the catastrophe as two events, a third phase will determine how much the insurer should be liable to pay.

Silverstein's policy had a $3.55 billion limit per incident, which could extend to $6.7 billion in coverage if the two planes striking the towers are counted as separate incidents (BestWire, July 23, 2003).

In November, Silverstein's mortgage company said he would use a portion of the $1.9 billion in insurance proceeds he already has received from the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to pay off a $563 million loan on the property before proceeding with plans to redevelop the site (BestWire, Nov. 24, 2003).

(By Marie Suszynski, associate editor, BestWeek: Marie.Suszynski@ambest.com)

Copyright © 2003 A.M. Best Company, Inc.

ZippyTheChimp
February 8th, 2004, 10:51 PM
Larry's Big Day


NY Newsday http://www.nynewsday.com/

Going to Bat for 2 WTC Insurance Payouts

Silverstein takes his claim of 2 attacks on 9/11 to court

By Errol A. Cockfield Jr.; STAFF WRITER

February 8, 2004

Beginning tomorrow in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, lawyers for World Trade Center developer Larry Silverstein will try to convince a 12-person jury that their client is entitled to $6.6 billion in insurance payments from companies willing to pay only half that amount.

The case before Chief Judge Michael B. Mukasey will feature scores of technical arguments on the finer points of property-coverage law. But at its core, the legal battle will reflect deeper conflicts over the reshaping of New York and the fate of the highest-profile redevelopment in the nation, if not the world. It will also touch on healing not only an emotional scar, but an economic one.

As the arguments finally get under way after nearly two years of pretrial motions, it's become clear that even if Silverstein wins, he may not have enough money to cover the cost of rebuilding. Projections vary, with the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. estimating a $7.7-billion cost, while independent analysts put the price tag between $9 billion and $11 billion.

"It's a very expensive project, and the insurance is not going to cover it all," said Madelyn Wils, a board member of the corporation.

Last week, Brad Card, Silverstein's Washington lobbyist, and the brother of White House chief of staff Andrew Card, floated a financing chart for the project among members of the New York congressional delegation. The chart, prepared by the development corporation, shows that even if Silverstein's lawyers win the day, their client would still need another $2.7 billion by 2009 to complete the 10-million-square-foot project, capped by the 1,776-foot-tall Freedom Tower centerpiece.

Facing these challenges, Silverstein is trying to convince Congress to back a White House proposal to extend the Liberty Bond program, a tax-free financing plan that President George W. Bush hopes to offer through 2009. Silverstein already has received, and spent, hundreds of millions of dollars through the program.

The financial clock is ticking for Silverstein, who as the site's leaseholder must pay the Port Authority $108 million a year to maintain his 99-year lease on the property, while receiving no income.

As a result, the stakes are high in the trial, which revolves around Silverstein's strongly held view that the Sept. 11, 2001, incident in which terrorists flew separate airplanes into the Twin Towers represented not one, but two attacks. Two attacks would mean Silverstein would be eligible to receive double the payout from his policies. The insurance companies, led by Swiss Re with almost 22 percent of the coverage, argue that only one attack occurred.

The trial is expected to last several months. The first phase will focus on the interpretation of insurance policy language. The second phase will focus on the central dispute about whether the terror attack constituted one occurrence or two.

Jeremy Soffin, a spokesman for the Regional Plan Association, a planning organization, said Silverstein's future role will depend on the amount he receives and how quickly he receives it. If Silverstein gets $3.5 billion, Soffin says, the developer would likely fall short of cash and default on the lease.

"Then there's the possibility that other developers will be responsible for the site," Soffin said.

Another sign of the increasing financial pressure Silverstein faces emerged last week when Moody's Investors Service downgraded $383 million in bonds the developer issued on 7 World Trade Center - a 52-story tower he began rebuilding in December - because of his inability to attract tenants and financing for the $700-million project.

Analysts said Silverstein's difficulties point up wider challenges developers are facing in attracting tenants to Lower Manhattan, where commercial vacancy rates are at 13 percent.

"We're not saying he's not trying, but we haven't seen progress in an awful long time," said James Church, an analyst with the credit rating agency.

Officials in charge of the redevelopment appear keenly aware of the financial strains.

Kevin Rampe, president of the development corporation, said last week that while the trial is a private dispute, the funds in question would go to the nation's recovery.

Rampe said, "Regardless of the merits of either side's case, the greater the recovery, the more resources that will be available."

Copyright © 2004, Newsday, Inc.

UrbanSculptures
February 9th, 2004, 12:49 AM
The twin skyscrapers of the World Trade Center collapsed because their inner cores were weakened by fire, but the south tower's destruction had no direct bearing on the later fall of the north tower, an engineering firm's study says.

This is the first time I have read/heard of this. If this engineering firm came up with this as the cause of the collapse, then I am skeptical of their skills.


It was pretty obvious it was the fire that caused this since both towers stood and remained standing after the collisions.

I have several clips of the collapses and they truly are bizarre, think about the event and how unlikely this really was;


1) The fire gets started in one area- the impact zone, burns hot and spreads to more areas then;

2) suddenly with virtually no warning every support column on a particular floor collapses virtually in unison

3) then once that happened the mass/weight of the tower above dropping suddenly the 10' or whatever it was down thru the collapsed floor was greater than the capacity of the floor to support, so it in turn collapses and on down in like fashion in rapid progression.

I find #2 very odd! this was a huge building with many columns all around the walls and then the center core, how did ALL of those collapse suddenly in unision so the tower went straight down?

If you take a building and knock out a corner or other supports it will collapse towards that. The only thing that would bring it down straight all at once like this tower is what you see with controlled demolition charges going off simultaneously.
A fire will weaken the area it is in where it's hottest first- but what about the supports on the OPPOSITE side of the building? if the supports start collapsing on one side they are in compression while the supports on the opposite side are pulled cantlever style in tension till they tear or break.

Remember- the center core had massive steel framing- how did that collapse at the same time the columns around the entire perimeter did ?

The first collapse happened as I would expect it would given the impact was on the corner, the photo shows the top of the tower tilted as it started down but it's mass and weight as well as the skin and supports on the opposite corner prevented it from continuing to rotate but by this point it had enough momentum to force the floor below it to collapse from the shock loading and when the floor below the tilting section collapsed the fulcrum/leverage the top had probably largely in the core section was lost and that's when it started going straight down and then the rest fell like a deck of cards.



http://www.lostnewyorkcity.com/forums/uploads/post-3-1076302665.jpg

See also this site for an animation of the failure of structural steel and more, scroll to the bottom for the index too;


http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/wtc/above.html

Kris
February 9th, 2004, 02:33 AM
February 9, 2004

In Dispute on Trade Center's Insurance, Billions at Stake

By CHARLES V. BAGLI

Opening statements are expected to begin today in the long-brewing court battle between the developer Larry A. Silverstein and two dozen insurers over how much money will be available for rebuilding the vast commercial complex at the World Trade Center site.

A courtroom in the federal courthouse in Lower Manhattan will be jammed with dozens of lawyers, and much testimony in the coming weeks will be from underwriters and agents discussing arcane insurance terms and forms. But the dry recitations will belie what is at stake for both sides: billions of dollars.

Mr. Silverstein claims that he is entitled to a double payment of nearly $7 billion because two planes hit two towers in what he describes as two separate occurrences during the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001. Swiss Re, Travelers Property Casualty Corporation and the other insurers that provided coverage for the trade center contend that the developer is entitled only to the policy limit, $3.55 billion.

Mr. Silverstein has lost a series of crucial rulings leading up to the trial, but both sides have expressed optimism over the ultimate outcome. Opening statements will come from a trio of shrewd and colorful lawyers, with Barry R. Ostrager and David Boies representing the insurers and Herbert M. Wachtell representing the developer.

The dispute has taken on an especially bitter cast over the past two years, with the chairman of Swiss Re, Jacques E. Dubois, portraying Mr. Silverstein as a rapacious developer who concocted a "self-motivated hoax" in an attempt to grab an insurance windfall. Mr. Silverstein, in turn, has denounced Swiss Re, calling its attacks scurrilous and accusing it of a "cynical" attempt to avoid its responsibilities.

But the ramifications of the case go beyond the two contending sides. It is being closely watched by city and state officials and people involved in the downtown rebuilding effort, especially now that a master plan has been completed for the site, as well as initial designs for one of the first buildings, the $1.4 billion, 1,776-foot Freedom Tower.

Judge Michael B. Mukasey of Federal District Court, who is hearing the case, has tried to contain the issues. He threatened contempt charges if the two sides talked to the news media in an attempt to sway public sentiment. And he told the jury last week that he did not know if the verdict would affect the rebuilding effort, but he cautioned jurors that it should not "enter into your decision in this case."

That prompted a reaction from Kevin M. Rampe, president of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the agency overseeing plans for the trade center site.

"This litigation will have a real and direct impact on the rebuilding effort," said Mr. Rampe, who estimates it will cost $9 billion to $11 billion to rebuild the trade center. "I invite the judge to come down here if there's any uncertainty in his mind. We understand this is a private litigation, but there's a substantial public interest: healing the wounds from the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history."

So far, the insurers have paid out $1.9 billion, $600 million of which has been spent on rent, debt service and legal fees. (An additional $700 million was spent on paying off the mortgage on the property and buying out the trade center mall operator, Westfield America. But both Mr. Silverstein and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey are required to replenish the rebuilding fund when the insurance case is resolved.)

The two sides have been at odds on almost every point. The case is particularly complicated because Mr. Silverstein took control of the office complex at the trade center only six weeks before the terrorist attack. At the time, the insurance companies had signed binders pledging to provide coverage but had not completed the final documents.

The two sides have split over which insurance form was in place at the time of the attack. Mr. Silverstein claims that the companies are bound by a proposed policy known as the Travelers form, which, he says, makes it easier to claim that the attack on Sept. 11. constituted two occurrences.

The insurance companies, however, say that the document in force was the so-called Wilprop form, a policy devised and proposed by Mr. Silverstein's consultants to avoid multiple deductibles.

The court has already ruled that three insurers, with a total coverage of $112 million, were bound by Wilprop, which regards the destruction of the trade center as a single occurrence. Early on, Mr. Silverstein settled with two other companies, with coverage totaling $365 million.

This trial is to determine whether Swiss Re and 12 other insurers were bound by Wilprop, as they contend. Swiss Re's legal arguments have centered on one of Mr. Silverstein's insurance executives, Robert Strachan, the developer's risk manager. The day after the attack, Mr. Strachan sent out a memo indicating that the insurance language entitled Mr. Silverstein to one payment of $3.5 billion.

But Mr. Silverstein's pretrial memo contends that Swiss Re never accepted the Wilprop form and that the company was later notified that the Travelers form was going to be used in the placement.

A second phase of the legal proceedings will determine whether Mr. Silverstein is entitled to two payments under the Travelers form.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Agglomeration
February 9th, 2004, 07:25 PM
The main trial involving the insurance payments has begun today. Silverstein is arrayed against no less than 11 insurance companies, all of which are clearly not standing for his greed and height limits. Or to put it more simply, we're talking about big money, for this trial will determine how much money that Silverstein and Pataki want to use to build the Freedom Tower and all its shorter subordinates.

Battle over Twin Towers insurance (BBC News)

The case could have an impact on rebuilding on the site
A US federal jury has begun hearing a case to decide whether the leaseholder of the World Trade Center can claim insurance for one attack or two.

Developer Larry Silverstein wants insurance firms to pay out for two attacks on 11 September, 2001.

The insurance companies dispute the claim, saying the attacks on the twin towers amounted to a single event.

Mr Silverstein would receive $7bn for two attacks, as opposed to $3bn if the attacks are classified as one.

The property magnate says the attacks were two events because the hijacked aircraft hit the World Trade Center 15 minutes apart.

Kevin M Rampe, Lower Manhattan Development Corporation
A larger payout will enable Mr Silverstein to build a new tower, skyscrapers and other buildings on Ground Zero within the next decade.

The smaller figure could mean years of delays.

"Anyone who's in New York knows that how much we recover from this lawsuit will have an impact on the rebuilding of this site," said Kevin M Rampe, president of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation.

Mr Silverstein, who owned the leasehold on the World Trade Center, suffered a setback last September, when a federal appeals court defined the destruction as one event but ruled a jury should decide the case.

There is also the complication of the fact that while the leasehold was signed months before the 9/11 attacks, the insurance contracts had not been formally written.

Agglomeration
February 9th, 2004, 07:32 PM
NY WTC Trial- the $3.5 Billion Question

By Philip Klein

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A trial that could determine how much money is available to rebuild at the World Trade Center site, destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001, began on Monday with insurance companies' lawyers making the case that the two hijacked plane attacks were one event for insurance purposes.

Lawyers for insurers argued that one day after two hijacked planes toppled the World Trade Center, the risk manager for leaseholder Larry Silverstein identified the active insurance policy as one that said the destruction was one event.

Silverstein claims that insurers owe him about $7 billion in payouts, double his policy, because two hijacked airliners destroying the twin towers represented two distinct events.

The fax cover sheet sent by the risk manager to Silverstein's lenders on Sept. 12, 2001, presented in court on the first day of arguments before a New York jury, will be a central part of proving the insurers' case that at most they owe $3.5 billion as compensation for the loss of the buildings.

About a dozen insurers, led by Zurich-based Swiss Re, said he should get at most half that amount because the dominant insurance policy on Sept. 11, 2001, was a form called Wilprop, issued by broker Willis Group Holdings Ltd. . Under that form, the towers' destruction was clearly one event.

"Pre-Sept. 11, Silverstein and Willis both wanted the Wilprop form," said Swiss Re lawyer Barry Ostrager, arguing in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

ONE EVENT OR TWO?

Ostrager presented documents he said showed that the Willis form was sent to insurers throughout the United States and Europe in the months before Sept. 11.

And on the day after, a fax was sent to Silverstein's lenders by Robert Strachan, who was handling insurance coverage for Silverstein that said, "The occurrence definition ... in the Willis policy that we are working with."

But days later, Strachan was "walled in" by Silverstein's lawyers as they moved to de-emphasize the Willis form, Ostrager said.

Herbert Wachtell, representing Silverstein, disputed the account offered by Ostrager and other insurers, saying instead insurers were not governed by the Willis policy and in many cases never saw or heard of it.

Wachtell cited a deposition by a Willis broker that said he had a discussion with Swiss Re over the summer that insurance coverage was going to be migrated to a policy written by Travelers Property Casualty Corp.. The Travelers form does not specifically define 'occurrence,' leaving it open for debate whether the towers' destruction was one or two events.

The resolution of the dispute, which may involve three trials, will determine how much money is available to rebuild the site where the Twin Towers once stood and could influence what actually gets built there.

The matter is complicated since Silverstein leased the World Trade Center less than two months before it was destroyed and the finer points of his insurance policy had not been fully ironed out.

A second trial is expected that would let a jury decide the issue of whether the destruction was one occurrence or two. Yet a third trial could become necessary to decide damages.

fioco
February 9th, 2004, 11:17 PM
Pataki's timeline has met its match.

BigMac
February 10th, 2004, 03:03 PM
New York Post

February 10, 2004

WTC trial starts with battle 'cry'

By WILLIAM NEUMAN

A lawyer for Ground Zero developer Larry Silverstein choked up yesterday as he described the impact of the 9/11 attacks in front of a federal jury, accusing the Twin Towers insurers of "trying to rewrite history" to escape a nearly $7 billion payout for the disaster.

In a dramatic day of opening statements in the megabucks Manhattan federal court trial, both sides accused the other of taking advantage of the post-9/11 confusion surrounding the World Trade Center insurance coverage.

The jury in the civil case must decide if 13 insurance companies involved in the trade center deal signed onto a document - known as the Wilprop form - that would define the WTC attacks as a single occurrence and limit the payout to $3.5 billion.

Silverstein's lawyer, Herb Wachtell, said he will show that the insurers had either not signed onto Wilprop or had agreed to use a different form provided by Travelers Insurance - that would define the attacks as two occurrences, requiring a $7 billion payout.

Wachtell became emotional when talking about the attacks, in which four Silverstein employees were among the thousands killed.

Copyright 2004 NYP Holdings, Inc.

Ninjahedge
February 11th, 2004, 04:53 PM
Just to answer some of your questions.

Our company did the engineering analysis of the world trade center collapse and I can let you know a few things.

First of all, the plane, apon striking the structure, took out an entire face (practically) of load bearing columns. I forget which tower had it's corner clipped, but suffice to say it fared worse.

Second, the plane was completely fueled. It did spray out HIGHLY flammable fuel, more volitile than regular gasoline, all over the entire floor levels it struck.

The load from the stories above was being redirected out and around the missing columns, a testiment to the inherent factors of safety built into building design nowadays, but there is no question that the building was SEVERLY compromised.

Now, this fuel ignites and heats up the surviving structural support. Steel structures nowadays are coated to specifically protect against fire and make it so that the steel does not loose strength, or in this case stiffness, too quickly. There are very few ways to "Fire-proof" a building, but they do spray on "Fire-retardant" for just this purpose. This only gives some extra time.

Now take a close look at the WTC (the one with the antenna is the easiest) and it's collapse mechanisim. If you notice, it tilts a little before going down. It is not easily seen, but the antenna is no longer vertical as it is going down. This leads to the conclusion, that our analysis confirmed, that one edge (the damaged edge) collapsed first, bringing the rest down with it in rapid succession.

In order to understand what happened to the columns, you must first understand buckling behaivior and inelastic deformations of strucures. The columns in question were already subject to additional load not originally designed for. Some incurred damage inducing additional stress due to missing cross sectional area and/or deformations that would induce P-Delta forces (a bent pole holds less axially than a strait one).

These columns are then additionally compromised by the intense heat they are exposed to, bith lowering their ultimate strength, and most importantly their modulus of elasticity, or STIFFNESS.

Now you have this overloaded, slightly bent column getting softer and softer as it is being heated. There comes a point where the column cant take anymore or resist any more.

A little bend in the column causes the axial force on it to want to bend it more. It does get bent a little, depending on its geometry AND its material stiffness. If that additional bend is small, it only has a little additional bending force applied to it as a result and it eventually reaches a stopping point.

IF the material stiffness is reduced, the initial deflection is increased. If that initial deflection is enough to produce a substantial increase in force, then it does not reach a stopping point. (The first deflection of, say, one inch laterally, causes a force change that adds another inch or two, which adds another inch or two, etc etc.)

This happens very quicky, in relation to our perception. the collapsing of that one column may take a half second. Once the first column goes, mosto of ITS load is transferred to the already overstressed neighboring columns. These columns are also either damaged or simply bent out of shape by the failure of the neighboring columns, and it starts going, probably before the first one is entirely collapsed.

The whole thing goes like a quick zipper...vvvvvvvip!, now you have 20 stories of building drupping 10 feet onto a floor only designed to take 50lbs per square foot. It pancakes. Pieces of the exterior shed off as the core collapses in on itself.

So, that is what we found. The damage initially was EXTENSIVE, and it is a credit that the buildings did not instantly collapse. But the killer was just the fire, time and gravity.

MrShakespeare
February 11th, 2004, 05:42 PM
I am new, but thought that these two articles might provide some additional information for the group.

Though these two articles were published last week, some of the information they contain has not been mentioned elsewhere. Namely, the possible settlement value of the case.

Here is the first article:

Silverstein's Costly Feat:
Rebuilding the WTC Site

By ALEX FRANGOS
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL


Will there be enough insurance money to rebuild the World Trade Center?

Probably not. Even if developer Larry Silverstein wins big in his multibillion-dollar lawsuit against his insurers, he'll still need to get additional financing to complete the rebuilding of the site. His success will largely depend on his ability to attract tenants.

The scope and timetable of the rebuilding hinges on the outcome of the case. Jury selection is set to begin Wednesday in U.S. district court in New York. Silverstein wants a $6.6 billion payout from a group of insurers including Swiss Reinsurance Co. The insurers are willing to part with $3.55 billion. Those closely watching the case say to look for a third possibility: a settlement of around $4 billion to $4.5 billion.

"The amount of the insurance proceeds will determine the pace at which the rebuilding of the site takes place," says Kathryn S. Wylde, president of the Partnership for New York City, a business group.

Either way, local real-estate developers and cost estimators put the tab to rebuild the office and retail space at more than $9 billion, including construction costs, design and legal fees, tenant inducements, and other miscellaneous outlays.

Silverstein Properties holds the lease on the commercial space at Ground Zero and is contractually obliged to rebuild the 10 million square feet of offices lost in the Sept. 11 attacks.

The size of the payment will also affect the memorial and potentially lucrative retail space, which is controlled by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the bistate agency that owns the 16-acre plot. Part of the insurance money will be needed for the underground infrastructure, most of which must be planned -- if not fully built -- before those areas can be constructed.

Adding to the bill: The first commercial building, the 1,776-foot Freedom Tower, includes an unrentable and extremely expensive iconic element on the top, a latticework "hat" that will house electricity-producing wind turbines. The Port Authority says it is Silverstein's responsibility to pay for the entire tower. "It's part of the building. It's the design that was agreed to," says Charles A. Gargano, vice chairman of the Port Authority.

Mr. Silverstein declined to comment for this article, citing a court order not to speak to the press.

Another part of the cost: To maintain the 99-year lease, Silverstein Properties has to pay $120 million a year in rent to the Port Authority. Since the attacks, Mr. Silverstein has paid the rent out of money from insurance proceeds he has already received. As time passes, less of the insurance money is available for rebuilding.

Mr. Silverstein wouldn't collect a penny from any potential tenants until 2009, when the Freedom Tower is set to open. Even then, revenue from that structure would depend heavily on the health of the downtown Manhattan real-estate market and Silverstein's ability to attract tenants to a place that has been attacked twice before by terrorists.

Given the likely outcomes of the suit, how much does a few billion dollars build you in lower Manhattan, factoring in high construction costs and Mr. Silverstein's rent obligations to the Port Authority?

According to developers who have studied the situation, even if Mr. Silverstein wins his coveted $6.6 billion, he will need to secure additional financing to rebuild everything. Should he and the insurers settle for something around $4.5 billion, Mr. Silverstein could probably build the Freedom Tower and two other buildings -- around five million square feet -- but not all that he's required to under his lease agreement. If he loses outright, and gets only $3.55 billion, he'll be able to build little more than the currently proposed Freedom Tower and one other building -- around 3.5 million square feet.

To be sure, the insurance proceeds aren't the only source of funding available to Mr. Silverstein. He can leverage the insurance to obtain Liberty Bonds, a program that provides tax-exempt financing. The Bush administration last week asked Congress to extend the program until 2009. But to get the bonds, Mr. Silverstein would need to convince anchor tenants to sign leases for space in the new buildings before he breaks ground.

The more money Mr. Silverstein gets from the insurance companies, the more he can leverage. If he can't build all the space, Mr. Silverstein may be forced to renegotiate his role on the site, including reduced rent to the Port Authority.

Another major element of the site's redevelopment, as yet unpaid for, will be unveiled Thursday: a multibillion-dollar rail link from the World Trade Center to commuter-rich Long Island.

MrShakespeare
February 11th, 2004, 05:45 PM
Here is the second article:

Jottings May Cut
Insurers' Payouts
On Twin Towers

By DEAN STARKMAN
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL


NEW YORK -- In the blockbuster insurance trial that will decide how much money will be available to rebuild Ground Zero, New York developer Larry Silverstein will be taking on some of the world's largest insurance companies. But one of his biggest headaches may come from an unlikely source: his own top insurance executive.

On Sept. 12, 2001, with four colleagues killed in Silverstein Properties Inc.'s World Trade Center office and the company's midtown office in turmoil, Robert Strachan, Silverstein Properties' risk manager, twice faxed a form that -- if the court finds he was right -- would doom most of Mr. Silverstein's case. Mr. Strachan scribbled on the fax sent to a lawyer for a key government agency: "FYI, the 'occurrence' definition," pointing to insurance-contract language that would entitle Mr. Silverstein to only one insurance payment of $3.5 billion, and not the double payment he is seeking for the two airliner attacks on the Twin Towers.

In addition, during a conference call right after the attacks, Mr. Strachan scribbled a series of notes that included this phrase: "Underinsured WTC."

For more than two years, Mr. Silverstein has strenuously claimed that two planes hitting the World Trade Center's towers represent two "occurrences" -- insurance language that entitles his development group to a double payment of the face value of its insurance policy. But the critical first phase of the three-part trial, scheduled to start jury selection Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, hinges on a much narrower question: Which insurance language were the parties working from before and after the attack?

The stakes are high: They include Mr. Silverstein's future role at Ground Zero and what ultimately gets built on the site. If Mr. Silverstein wins the case, observers believe he should have as much as $6.6 billion, not quite double the face value since some insurers have already won rulings in the case, but enough to put him well along in building the 10 million square feet of office space required under his 99-year lease with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Ground Zero's landlord. If he loses, a growing number of observers believe Mr. Silverstein will have to accept a much-diminished role -- or even face the possibility of default. (See related article.)

Peter Herman, chairman of Regional Plan Association, a leading New York civic group, says that without a Silverstein insurance victory, what is built at Ground Zero will depend on market demand and won't necessarily include a huge office complex -- at least not immediately. "If the demand for office space isn't there, and the $7 billion doesn't come through, then things would be subject to change," he says.

In contrast to the upbeat display of cooperation surrounding plans for the World Trade Center memorial and Freedom Tower, the legal and public-relations battle over insurance proceeds has been bruising and marked by an unusual degree of personal rancor. Swiss Reinsurance Co., the Zurich-based giant leading the fight for insurers, in a release last year called Mr. Silverstein's two-occurrence theory a "self-motivated hoax," conjured after the developer realized he had underinsured the Trade Center.

In reply, Mr. Silverstein accused Swiss Re of "cynical and manipulative" tactics and "scurrilous" personal attacks and of shirking its responsibilities to both policyholders and lower Manhattan. The judge, U.S. District Judge Michael B. Mukasey, has noted the level of "bile" in the case and reminded the parties to stick to the facts and the law.

Tensions bubbled Tuesday at a pretrial hearing in a lower-Manhattan courtroom packed with more than 50 lawyers. Struggling to control what he called a "metastasizing" trial, Judge Mukasey at one point interrupted Swiss Re's lead lawyer, Barry Ostrager, and John Gross from the Silverstein camp, who were bickering with each other over materials the two sides had agreed to exchange. "Nominally, people are supposed to address me," Judge Mukasey said, wryly. "If you want to fight, you can go outside and fight."

The dispute dates to the spring of 2001, when Mr. Silverstein and his closely held company were preparing for the July 24 closing on their $3.2 billion purchase of the Trade Center's leases. It hired Willis Group Holdings, a New York-based insurance brokerage, to buy property insurance, a condition of the lease.

According to court documents, Willis and its primary broker, Timothy Boyd, began approaching insurance companies in June, using WilProp, a form that explicitly defined the word "occurrence" as damages attributable to a "series of similar causes." The Second Circuit Court of Appeals later ruled that under WilProp the Sept. 11 attacks were a single occurrence as a matter of law, requiring a single payment.

Ultimately, 23 insurers preliminarily agreed to provide coverage totaling $3.5 billion, pending the final signing of the formal policies. The temporary policies, known as "binders," are informal and often include handwritten scribbles but are nonetheless binding contracts.

In court papers, Swiss Re and other insurers assert that it and at least 19 other insurers had committed by July 19, and the only form they had seen was WilProp. But a wrinkle was added on July 9. A unit of Travelers Property Casualty Corp., Hartford, Conn., rejected the Willis form and two days later sent its own form that didn't include a definition of occurrence.

According to the court record, Mr. Boyd reluctantly agreed to accommodate Travelers on July 12. "Unless advised otherwise, I intend to bind as follows: Use Travelers and accept its form," he wrote in an e-mail to colleagues at Willis.

The Silverstein camp argues that most other insurers ultimately agreed to use the Travelers form before they finally committed to their portion of the insurance. Indeed, the Silverstein camp says that Swiss Re in particular had been told of the switch and received the Travelers form before it finally committed.

But Swiss Re and other insurers argue that all parties -- including Mr. Strachan -- knew that the Travelers form applied only to Travelers, while WilProp governed the rest. Swiss Re says that in its own case it had committed to its policy long before it had even seen the Travelers form.

The second phase of the trial will focus on whether the Sept. 11 attacks were one or two occurrences under those insurers found to have committed under Travelers. The final phase would attach values to the actual losses from each occurrence.

In a deposition, Mr. Strachan described the scene at Silverstein Properties' midtown offices on Sept. 12, 2001, as chaotic, with representatives of a big lender, GMAC Commercial Mortgage Corp., and the Port Authority calling to ask for copies of the relevant insurance language.

"These people were obnoxious," Mr. Strachan testified, "We had lost four or five people." On one of the faxes, he circled the WilProp occurrence definition.

In court papers, Mr. Silverstein's lawyers argue that Mr. Strachan was "confused" and "acting under extreme stress" when he faxed the forms Sept. 12. The Silverstein side also says that Mr. Strachan, a 40-year insurance veteran, was "out of the loop" generally on the critical question of which contract language governed the policy, having delegated the details to Willis.

"He himself had no day-to-day involvement in the process," a Silverstein brief says. "Rather, he focused on the big picture, business-related aspects of the placement."

In its own briefs, Swiss Re counters that Mr. Strachan was in fact "singularly responsible" for the Trade Center insurance, and by his own testimony spent "75% to 80%" of his time on the matter during the summer of 2001. Swiss Re says he talked to Willis brokers daily.

At a hearing in December, Mr. Silverstein's lead lawyer, Herbert Wachtell, argued that Mr. Strachan's testimony and faxes should be excluded from the trial.

"He's the one who was so upset and was out of the loop and can't be relied on and so on?" Judge Mukasey asked.

Mr. Wachtell said the main issue was that insurers had already agreed to provide coverage under certain language, so Mr. Strachan's actions were irrelevant. "That argument should be addressed to people who will be sitting 90 degrees to your left," Judge Mukasey said, and denied the motion.

TAFisher123
February 11th, 2004, 09:16 PM
I find #2 very odd! this was a huge building with many columns all around the walls and then the center core, how did ALL of those collapse suddenly in unision so the tower went straight down?


Ockhams Razor

MrShakespeare
February 20th, 2004, 03:28 PM
Best's Insurance is publishing well-written articles describing the events taking place at this trial:

http://www.ambest.com/

Two recent articles that I found particularly informative:

...Separate Form Complicated Twin Towers Insurance Placement
http://www3.ambest.com/Frames/FrameServer.asp?Site=news&Tab=1&altsrc=18&RefNum=6 3880

WTC Trial Focuses on Pre-Attack Decisions, Post-Attack Communications
http://www3.ambest.com/Frames/FrameServer.asp?Site=news&Tab=1&altsrc=18&RefNum=6 3753

MrShakespeare
February 26th, 2004, 11:14 AM
http://www.businessinsurance.com/

(c) 2004 Crain Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.

Monday, February 23, 2004

Volume 38; Number 8

Trial examines WTC form selection
GLORIA GONZALEZ

NEW YORK-A Willis Group Holdings Ltd. broker testified last week that he had
ordered the use of a policy form that would classify the Sept. 11, 2001,
destruction of the World Trade Center's twin towers as two occurrences almost
two months before the terrorist attack. Timothy Boyd, an assistant vp for
Willis of New York Inc., said he informed colleagues on July 12, 2001, that a
Travelers Property Casualty Corp. form would be used to lead the WTC insurance
coverage, even though his colleagues expressed serious concerns about the form
and an internal review of its provisions had not been completed at the time.

Mr. Boyd gave his testimony during the long-awaited trial in New York to
determine whether the insurance program is governed by a Willis policy form
that would treat the loss as one event, or by the Travelers form that WTC
leaseholder Silverstein Properties Inc. argues would entitle the policyholder
to two limits, or $7 billion (BI, Feb. 16).

The dozen insurers that have proceeded to trial against Silverstein represent
the bulk of the program's $3.5 billion limit, including Swiss Reinsurance Co.,
which wrote $778 million of the total, and Lloyd's of London underwriters, who
wrote $684 million.

Willis was retained by Silverstein to secure coverage ahead of the closing of
its 99-year lease on the WTC complex on July 24, 2001. Mr. Boyd, the
coordinating broker for the placement, sent out an underwriting submission that
included the Willis form, known as Wilprop. As of early July 2001, however, he
was having trouble securing coverage due to limited capacity and insurers'
concerns about the WTC's exposure to a terrorist attack.

Mr. Boyd described his efforts to persuade Travelers to participate in the
program, including an e-mail in which he tried to sell a Travelers underwriter
on the prestige of insuring the trade center. The Willis broker told the court
he spent several days negotiating terms with Travelers and was finally able to
secure the company's participation, on the condition that the program be led by
the Travelers form.

Although the Wilprop form defines the term "occurrence" and the Travelers' form
does not, Mr. Boyd told the court that he did not ask Travelers for a
definition of that term to be included in the Travelers form.

Mr. Boyd said he was not familiar with the Travelers form so he asked
colleagues for their opinions. His colleagues told him the Travelers form was
restrictive and difficult and advised him not to use it. He said he then tried
to convince Travelers to use the Wilprop form, but Travelers insisted on using
its form, though the company did agree to make technical amendments to its
form, if necessary.

In an e-mail sent the morning of July 12, Mr. Boyd asked his colleagues if any
of them had compared the Travelers and Wilprop forms. He said he had decided to
use the Travelers form and wanted to find any provisions that would be
problematic for his clients.

"I was getting some flak from my colleagues that the (Travelers form) was not
the best form for our clients," he said.

That afternoon, Mr. Boyd sent them another e-mail saying he was switching to
the Travelers form despite their concerns to fulfill the lending requirements
of Silverstein's lender, General Motors Acceptance Corp.

Lawyers for Swiss Re and the other insurers questioned why Mr. Boyd told his
London brokers to use the Travelers form, even though his own colleagues had
concerns about the form. Mr. Boyd responded that he decided to switch the form
because Silverstein needed Travelers to fill gaps in various coverage layers
while satisfying GMAC's demand for insurers with minimum AA ratings from
Standard & Poor's Corp. He also testified he could not wait for the results of
an internal review of the form because coverage needed to be in place prior to
the closing deadline.

"We were rapidly approaching the deadline," Mr. Boyd said. "I didn't have the
luxury of a lot of time."

Willis formally bound insurance authorizations on July 17, with the coverage
effective July 19, according to Mr. Boyd. He testified on differences between
the policy conditions referenced in the Willis binder and the Wilprop form that
Silverstein lawyers argue is evidence that the Wilprop form was no longer being
used. Mr. Boyd also noted that he underlined, italicized and set in bold the
name "Travelers" in subsequent documents to underscore the fact that Travelers
was the lead insurer.

Lawyers for the insurers challenged Mr. Boyd on several fronts, including why
he did not inform representatives of WTC owner the Port Authority of New York &
New Jersey, GMAC and Silverstein lease partner Westfield America Inc. about the
switch to the Travelers form. He testified he did not tell them because he
understood Silverstein to be the lead insured for the transaction. He said he
sought and received approval to make the switch from Silverstein's risk
manager, Robert F. Strachan.

He was also confronted with several e-mails that lawyers for the insurers
contend demonstrate the decision to use the Travelers form was not finalized.
In a July 20 e-mail to a third-party underwriter, Mr. Boyd said Willis was
having some issues with a different insurer and might need to replace the
insurer. In the e-mail, he attached the original underwriting submission, which
included the Wilprop form.

Mr. Boyd maintained, though, that he sent the entire original submission as a
matter of consistency and that the Wilprop form was off the table at the time.
He also said he told the underwriter the Travelers form was being used during
phone conversations. He stated that though details of the Travelers form were
still being worked out, Travelers' form was the operative form, per Travelers'
demand.

Mr. Boyd also sent an e-mail July 25 to Paul Blackmore, a senior broker for
Willis in London working on the Silverstein placement, telling him Willis had
been trying to weed Travelers out of the program up until the last minute of
binding. Mr. Blackmore is scheduled to testify after Mr. Boyd.

Mr. Boyd testified that the statement to Mr. Blackmore was not entirely
accurate and was merely a response to a criticism from Mr. Blackmore about not
receiving key documents from Mr. Boyd before that day. Mr. Boyd added he had
studied the impact of removing Travelers from the program earlier that month
but realized this would leave too many coverage gaps.

He also acknowledged Willis received two revised binders from other insurers on
the WTC program, Bermuda-based ACE Ltd. and XL Capital Ltd., that referenced
Wilprop as the policy form in late July and early August. While Mr. Boyd said
he told a colleague that the forms needed to be fixed, he admitted he did not
seek to have ACE and XL switch to the Travelers form because he was waiting for
the modifications to the Travelers form to be completed.

Earlier last week, Peter Lefkowitz, an employee of the Harbor Group, a company
that performed insurance reviews for GMAC, testified GMAC never required the
policy to be written on a particular form, which was not unusual because
several forms would have satisfied its loan requirements. "It didn't matter
what form it was on," he said.

Mr. Lefkowitz said he was shown a copy of the Wilprop form during a meeting
July 9 and was told it was going to be used for the marketing of WTC insurance,
but he was not aware of the Travelers form until after Sept. 11, 2001. He said
he asked Mr. Strachan for a copy of the policy form on the morning of Sept. 12,
2001, but Mr. Strachan told him it was not finalized and that Travelers was
being difficult because they wanted to use their own form. He told Mr. Strachan
to fax him whatever documents he had and later received a fax from Mr. Strachan
that included portions of the Wilprop form. During that conversation, Mr.
Lefkowitz said he asked Mr. Strachan if he had considered the implications of
two occurrences. He quoted Mr. Strachan as saying, "No, I never thought of
that."

Also testifying last week was Beth Ann Hermann, GMAC's director of insurance
operations at the time of the attacks. She said she was asked to call Mr.
Lefkowitz about the insurance situation on the WTC complex. Although she
admitted taking notes during their conversation, she testified she could not
recall if Mr. Lefkowitz told her that Mr. Strachan was faxing the policy form
and whether that form was the Wilprop form. She also participated in several
conversations over the ensuing days about the coverage situation but testified
that she had no recollection of the details of these conversations.

Outside the presence of the jury, the judge asked her whether she was told by
anyone not to have any recollections of these meetings or to have as few as
possible. Ms. Hermann said she was told to be as honest and truthful as
possible.

MrShakespeare
March 12th, 2004, 11:47 AM
Earlier in this thread, there were a couple of references to the status of Marriott's interest in the WTC site. Does Marriott's surrender of the site, and the termination of the lease, include the right of first refusal?

Hotel & Motel Management
Copyright 2004 Gale Group Inc. All rights reserved.

Monday, February 16, 2004

Host Marriott Corp. received net insurance proceeds of about $370 million to
settle claims for the New York World Trade Center Marriott and New York
Marriott Financial Center hotels.
Simon, Elaine

* Host Marriott Corp. received net insurance proceeds of about $370 million to
settle claims for the New York World Trade Center Marriott and New York
Marriott Financial Center hotels, which were affected by 9/11. Some proceeds
were used to repay the $65 million debt of the World Trade Center Marriott. The
remaining proceeds will be used to pay debt, acquire new properties or for
general purposes. Host Marriott also surrendered the site where the hotel was
located and terminated a ground lease. Compiled by Elaine Simon

: COPYRIGHT 2004 Advanstar Communications, Inc.

MrShakespeare
March 12th, 2004, 11:49 AM
Another report on the events at trial:

Best's Insurance News
Copyright 2004 (c) A.M. Best Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Both Sides Score Points as Twin Towers Trial Winds Up Fifth Week

NEW YORK (BestWire) - In the fifth week of testimony in the World Trade Center
insurance dispute, attorneys for the insurers got crucial notes admitted as
evidence, while drawing out more testimony that appeared to support their
position. But attorneys for the twin towers' leaseholders were able to show
that underwriting decisions made in the London market might not clearly favor
the insurers' case. Judge Michael Mukasey of U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of New York agreed to allow post-attack notes taken on Sept.
12, 2001, by Beth Ann Hermann, an executive with GMAC Commercial Mortgage
Corp., admitted into evidence--a strong piece of evidence for lawyers
representing lead insurer Swiss Reinsurance Co. and the London market insurers
involved in the case.

According to attorneys for the insurers, notes taken by Hermann show that, in
the first few days after the catastrophe, actions by representatives of the
World Trade Center's leaseholders and financiers show an insurance form issued
by broker Willis Group Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:WSH) governed most of the coverage,
rather than a different form used by Travelers Property Casualty Insurance Co.
(NYSE:TAPa).

Which form bound the insurers before the Sept. 11 catastrophe is the critical
question before a jury of 12 in Mukasey's court. The Willis form, known as
WilProp, provides a definition of "occurrence" that prior court rulings already
established would define the twin towers' destruction as a single occurrence.
The form submitted by Travelers less than two months before the Sept. 11
terrorist catastrophe leaves the definition of occurrence open.

During the first week of the trial, Swiss Re attorney Barry Ostrager focused on
an affidavit containing testimony by Hermann, vice president and director of
insurance for GMAC, one of the financiers of the World Trade Center lease,
which recounted communications that took place beginning on the morning of
Sept. 11 (BestWire, Feb. 12, 2004). Hermann recounted conversations among
herself, legal representatives of GMAC, representatives of Harbor Group--which
consulted GMAC on insurance matters--and representatives of leaseholder
Silverstein Properties Inc.

On Sept. 12, notes taken by Hermann show that Silverstein risk manager Robert
Strachan told Harbor Group representatives that the WilProp form provided terms
of the insurance coverage. On that same day, Strachan faxed the WilProp
manuscript form to the Harbor Group, according to Hermann's notes. Those
actions show that Strachan, as Silverstein's risk manager, saw the WilProp form
as the governing insurance binder for the World Trade Center, Ostrager argued.

Attorneys for World Trade Center leaseholders Silverstein and Westfield
Properties have been arguing that most of 12 insurers involved in the coverage
had switched from WilProp to the Travelers form. But lawyers for the insurers
contend no such change occurred.

In testimony on March 9, Nicholas Gavin Jones, an underwriter who had been
working with Faraday Underwriting Ltd. at Lloyd's in 2001, said he bound
Faraday to a coverage layer of $500 million in excess of $1 billion in July
2001. Jones said he had bound coverage on the WilProp form and never had been
shown the Travelers form before Sept. 11.

But another Lloyd's underwriter, Neil Chapman of Wellington Underwriting Ltd.,
admitted under questioning by Silverstein's attorneys that while he had bound
coverage on the basis of WilProp in July 2001, the binding agreement--or slip--
he signed didn't refer specifically to WilProp. Chapman also said the slip he
signed contained a waiver that would give Willis the right to change the
wording of the form without consulting Wellington.

Under questioning by Silverstein attorney Peter Hein, Chapman testified that
the WilProp form wasn't mentioned specifically in any of the documentation
related to the binding of Wellington to the World Trade Center coverage.

In addition to Hermann's notes, Swiss Re attorneys also questioned a Willis
broker about the alleged inferiority of the Travelers form for the purposes of
Willis' client, Silverstein. Under questioning by Ostrager on March 10, Willis
property insurance vice president Edmund F. Harvey said had been asked by a
fellow Willis broker on July 18, 2001--the day insurance coverage on the World
Trade Center was bound--to review the wording of the Travelers form.

In the following exchange, Harvey--a wording expert who was asked by other
Willis brokers to review the wording of the Travelers form--admitted that he
found problems with the Travelers form:

Ostrager: You found many aspects where the Travelers form is inferior to the
Willis form from your client Silverstein Properties' point of view, correct?

Harvey: Yes.

Later, Harvey testified that he had discussed possible changes to the Travelers
form with Travelers representatives but had never discussed the Travelers form
with any other bound insurer.

The trial now under way is the first of three possible phases. In the first
phase, the jury is to decide which of the insurers involved were bound by the
WilProp form, and which, if any, by the Travelers form. In a second phase, any
insurers found not to be bound by WilProp would have to state their case that
the destruction of the World Trade Center was one event rather than two under
the insurance form used--presumably the Travelers form. If that phase were to
determine that the insurance form used defined the catastrophe as two events, a
third phase would determine how much those insurers should be liable to pay.

Ralph Tortorella, a senior partner with the catastrophic industry practice
group of the New York law firm Ropers Majeski Kohn & Bentley, said the subject
of the trial isn't an insurance issue per se, but rather an attempt to sort out
who agreed to what as the coverage was lined up for the World Trade Center
lease. "There is a long line of cases involving adjudicating what was agreed to
prior to an event, and how those agreements are interpreted afterward," he
said. "This case is different only in the level of complexity--involving
multiple layers of financing and coverage."

Tortorella, whose firm isn't involved with the World Trade Center litigation,
said it isn't unusual in a complex insurance transaction to have details of the
coverage unsettled after the insurers are bound. "Terms might not always be set
until after the policy is agreed upon," he said. "This case is going to come
down to who is most believable regarding what was agreed to."

It isn't likely that any of the information coming out in the trial about how
the World Trade Center coverage was handled would change commercial insurance
business practices in any fundamental way, said Tortorella. "Carriers and
insureds will want to settle the terms of a policy as soon as possible," he
said. "But the World Trade Center coverage is not a traditional scenario. I'm
not sure any changes in industry practices are ultimately necessary."

In terms of the World Trade Center case, where the litigants are debating both
what was agreed to before Sept. 11 and what was discussed after the event,
Tortorella said the evidence of pre-Sept. 11 actions ultimately should weigh
more heavily in determining who agreed to what.

(By David Pilla, senior associate editor, BestWeek)

BigMac
March 17th, 2004, 02:08 AM
NY Newsday
March 17, 2004

Judge to Silverstein: Shut up

BY ERROL A. COCKFIELD JR.

The judge in the World Trade Center insurance trial yesterday scolded developer Larry Silverstein for publicly discussing the case, setting a hearing to consider possible contempt charges against the property's primary leaseholder.

David Boies, an attorney representing the London insurers fighting against Silverstein, argued before U.S. District Judge Michael Mukasey that the developer defied court directives by arguing his side during a news conference Monday at Ground Zero. Mukasey set a hearing for Thursday.

According to court transcripts, Mukasey chastised Silverstein's lead attorney, Herbert Wachtell, for his client's comments. Wachtell complained that the court had been unclear about whether both sides could speak to the press.

Mukasey later told attorneys in the case: "This is something that is going to get cured."

Victoria Toensing, a Washington D.C. lawyer, said there could be a number of outcomes after the Thursday hearing but much of it will depend on how clear Mukasey was in his instructions to attorneys in the case. Toensing said the judge may issue a warning or fine Silverstein if there is a finding of contempt, but she said. "I can't imagine that anyone is going to be held in contempt if the judge was not clear."

The court action was prompted by a Newsday story yesterday in which Silverstein was quoted attacking the insurers.

At the outset of the trial Mukasey barred comments to the press, but last week he relaxed those rules agreeing that both sides could respond to media requests to explain issues already aired in court.

At the press event Monday Silverstein was not responding to media requests, nor was he speaking about issues at play in the current phase of the trial, where jurors are considering what policy language was in play on September 11th, 2001.

During the press event, held at the construction site for 7 World Trade Center, Silverstein criticized the insurers for not paying the $7 billion he believes he deserves.

Instead of receiving a payout for the attacks, Silverstein said his firm had been forced into a litigation to claim funds necessary for the rebuilding of Ground Zero — which he said would hit $12 billion.

"It's an ongoing battle and as you can understand they're trying to save the money," Silverstein said of the thirteen insurers in the case.

Throughout the trial, Mukasey has made it clear to the jurors that this phase of the trial is about the finer points of insurance policy language, not the emotional issues surrounding the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site.

He has often chided attorneys in the case for invoking the specter of September 11th and urged them to deal with the merits of the case.

Copyright 2004, Newsday, Inc.

ZippyTheChimp
March 19th, 2004, 02:28 PM
The other shoe drops...

WTC INSURANCE TRIAL: Silverstein barred from court

BY ERROL A. COCKFIELD JR
STAFF WRITER

March 19, 2004

Issuing a sharp rebuke to the developer behind the rebuilding of Ground Zero, the judge in the World Trade Center insurance trial yesterday said he intends to ban Larry Silverstein from the courtroom.

Judge Michael Mukasey made the pronouncement during proceedings in U.S. District Court in Manhattan to consider whether Silverstein should be held in contempt for criticizing insurance companies in remarks that may have violated a court directive.

"Mr. Silverstein will not sit in this courtroom," Mukasey said. "They can designate someone else."

Before the hearing even began, Silverstein attorneys Floyd Abrams, a well-known First Amendment expert, and Bernard Nussbaum, a former Clinton administration White House counsel, begged Mukasey to end the proceedings, saying they would taint the jury.

"The danger and risk of influencing the jury is much greater than comments Mr. Silverstein made," Nussbaum argued.

Mukasey disagreed, saying, "No, I'm going to hear what I have to hear." Later, he said Silverstein's attorneys were suggesting "the cure is worse than the disease ..."

Tuesday, the judge reproached Silverstein's legal camp for comments the developer made Monday at a Ground Zero news conference. During the event, Silverstein criticized the insurers in the case for not paying the $7 billion he believes his firm is due for the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attack.

Attorneys for the insurers said the comments broke Mukasey's instructions. Silverstein's lawyers say Mukasey never issued an official order.

David Boies, an attorney for English insurer Lloyds of London who represented then-Vice President Al Gore before the Supreme Court during the 2000 presidential election, said the judge was detailed in his directions. Silverstein's comments went outside of the bounds of what the court allowed, Boies said.

"The court could not have been clearer," Boies said.

Responding to questions from Boies, Silverstein, who faces a possible fine, said he made his comments under the false impression created by members of his staff and representatives of his public relations firm, Rubenstein Associates that Mukasey had lifted his earlier directions.

"I understand that the court changed its position," Silverstein said, later adding, "At this stage, to assume what I assumed was inaccurate."

Copyright © 2004, Newsday, Inc.

Jasonik
March 23rd, 2004, 11:28 AM
March 23, 2004

Judge Fails to Hold Developer in Contempt for Comments

By CHARLES V. BAGLI

The developer Larry A. Silverstein narrowly escaped a civil contempt charge yesterday in the seventh week of a trial pitting him against his insurers for billions of dollars he seeks to rebuild the World Trade Center.

Judge Michael B. Mukasey found that the developer had violated an order not to discuss the case publicly and said that his explanation for disregarding the order was both "contradictory and not credible."

But Judge Mukasey decided against holding the developer in contempt because Mr. Silverstein's comments had not affected the jury and the finding could have a "highly prejudicial effect" on the trial.

Mr. Silverstein was not in his usual second-row seat as Judge Mukasey announced his decision because he was banned from the courtroom on Thursday, two days after he was quoted in Newsday about the case.

Judge Mukasey also said that if Mr. Silverstein testified in the case, he would insist on "a detailed and I mean virtually question/answer script" in advance. The developer is expected to take the stand first thing this morning.

Howard J. Rubenstein, a spokesman for the developer, said yesterday, "We're happy the contempt issue is behind Larry Silverstein." It was a bitter day for Mr. Silverstein, who had fulfilled his longstanding dream to control the trade center in July 2001, when he won the lease for the complex. But six weeks later, it was destroyed by terrorists.

Mr. Silverstein and his insurance battle have been in the limelight ever since. Judge Mukasey observed last week that "there is so much money here at stake that people will do virtually anything."

Mr. Silverstein has insisted that he is entitled to a double insurance payment of nearly $7 billion because two planes hit two towers in what he describes as two separate occurrences. Swiss Re and almost two dozen other insurers contend that he is entitled to no more than the $3.55 billion policy limit.

Before the trial started in February, Judge Mukasey threatened to impose findings of contempt if either side conducted "publicity campaigns" to sway public opinion or influence the jury. Although Mr. Silverstein had long argued that getting a double insurance payment was a civic necessity for the rebuilding, the judge told jurors not to let that "enter into your decision."

The trial revolves around more arcane issues, such as which form insurers used in committing to the coverage.

David Boies, a lawyer for some insurers, asked Judge Mukasey to hold Mr. Silverstein in contempt last Tuesday, the day after the developer held a news conference at 7 World Trade Center, an office tower that he is rebuilding.

With an American flag on display in the background, Mr. Silverstein responded to a question about the trial: "It is an ongoing battle, and, as you can understand, they are trying to save the money. We are trying to get them to fulfill the responsibilities that we paid for when we paid the premiums under the policies. Instead of getting insurance, we got ourselves a massive amount of litigation."

Judge Mukasey set a hearing for last Thursday, where Barry R. Ostrager, a lawyer for Swiss Re, charged that Mr. Silverstein's news conference was part of the developer's "Build It Now" campaign to put pressure on the insurance companies. Mr. Silverstein acknowledged in his testimony that he was trying pressure the insurers much as they were pressuring him.

Mr. Silverstein offered two explanations for his remarks, which Judge Mukasey found contradictory. First he said that he had been told during a March 10 conference call with his public relations consultants that the judge had lifted the order not to comment publicly, although he could not recall who said it and did not talk to his lawyers. Later, Mr. Silverstein said that he blurted out his words out of frustration.

His testimony "strains credulity," Judge Mukasey said yesterday.

The news conference was not the first time Mr. Silverstein had spoken publicly about the case since the trial began. Mr. Silverstein's speech at the March 11 annual gala for the Hispanic Federation dealt almost exclusively with the insurance battle and its ramifications for Hispanics and all New Yorkers. The developer, a co-chairman of the gala, urged everyone to spread the word that the attack on the trade center was "two events," according to two guests at the event.

Copyright 2004*The New York Times Company

BigMac
March 23rd, 2004, 05:14 PM
New York Newsday
March 23, 2004

Silverstein: knew little about WTC insurance policies

The Associated Press

World Trade Center leaseholder Larry Silverstein testified Tuesday that he knew little about the insurance policies he secured before signing a 99-year lease in the weeks before the Sept. 11 terrorist attack destroyed his buildings.

He told a jury in U.S. District Court in Manhattan that he knew the insurance was important enough to the July 2001 closing of the lease that he ordered his staff: "Get it done. Get it done because we need it to close."

But he said he left the wording of the insurance contracts to his staff.

A day or so after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Silverstein said, he was advised to hire lawyers to handle problems arising over the insurance contracts.

Silverstein, the first witness called by lawyers for his company, testified for less than a half hour at an insurance trial meant to determine which insurance forms governed policies provided by various companies.

A related upcoming trial may be held to determine whether the attack on the trade center by two separate hijacked planes represented one attack or two for insurance purposes.

Silverstein has insisted it represents two attacks and has said he is entitled to $7 billion in insurance proceeds, enough to cover his share of the cost of rebuilding the trade center complex.

The insurance companies, though, argue that Silverstein underinsured his buildings and is entitled to $3.5 billion.

Silverstein's testimony was severely restricted Tuesday by a judge angered at public statements Silverstein made when he erroneously thought a gag order on participants in the trial had been lifted.

Outside court, Silverstein rebuffed attempts by reporters to question him.

"I'm not going to comment on anything," he snapped before boarding an elevator.

Copyright 2004 Newsday, Inc.

BigMac
April 14th, 2004, 05:23 PM
Newsday
April 14, 2004

Silverstein lawyer: WTC insurance policy was changed

Associated Press

Two months before the World Trade Center collapsed, leaseholder Larry Silverstein's insurance brokers changed the trade center's policy form from one that defined the towers' destruction as one event to another form, Silverstein's lawyer said Wednesday.

Closing arguments began after a contentious, 10-week trial that Silverstein hopes is the first round in a bid to collect twice the $3.5 billion insurance policy he took out on the center, one for each tower that fell on Sept. 11, 2001.

Thirteen insurance companies led by Swiss Reinsurance Ltd. have sued Silverstein Properties Inc., arguing that they agreed to coverage under an insurance form issued by Silverstein broker Willis Group Holdings Ltd., which specifically defines the word "occurrence" and holds that the Sept. 11, 2001, destruction of the trade center was one event.

Silverstein has argued that Willis switched to a form issued by Travelers Property Casualty Corp. from the Willis form, known as Wilprop.

"No single binder or slip here says Wilprop," Silverstein attorney Herbert Wachtell told a federal jury Wednesday.

Wachtell said that Silverstein's brokers initially had wanted to use the Wilprop form, but made the change when Travelers refused to participate in the multilayered program unless its own form was used.

Wachtell flashed a July 12, 2001, email on a video screen from Willis broker Timothy Boyd to his colleagues at Willis that read "Use Travelers and accept form."

Wachtell defended arguments that Silverstein's insurance manager, Robert Strachan, proved Wilprop was the form governing trade center coverage when he faxed it on Sept. 12, 2001, to a main Silverstein lender and the trade center's owner, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Strachan was distraught the day after the terrorist attack and "that was all he had" in his office at the time, Wachtell said. Boyd had sent Strachan a copy of the Travelers form, but Strachan had never received it because the file was too large for his personal email account, Wachtell said.

Wachtell also suggested that Swiss Re underwriter Daniel Bollier was lying when he testified that he had never discussed the Travelers insurance form with anyone from Silverstein, producing another email that attached the Travelers form and referred to a conversation he had had with Willis broker Paul Blackmore.

Wachtell was to continue his opening arguments later Wednesday.

Insurers were to deliver their closing arguments Thursday and jury deliberations were expected to begin Monday.

If the jury determines that any of the insurers were not bound by the Wilprop form, a second trial could determine whether the Travelers form defines the trade center's destruction for insurance purposes as one event or two. Lower Manhattan redevelopment officials have said failure to collect a $7 billion payment could slow the rebuilding pace at ground zero.

Copyright 2004 Newsday, Inc.

BigMac
April 15th, 2004, 05:52 PM
Newsday
April 15, 2004

WTC insurer denies form switch

Associated Press

An argument that insurance brokers negotiating a $3.5 billion policy for the World Trade Center switched the form that would govern coverage two months before Sept. 11 "defies common sense," a lawyer for a leading insurer said Thursday.

Barry Ostrager, lawyer for Swiss Reinsurance Ltd., which carries the leading share of 22 percent of the policy, said brokers for trade center leaseholder Larry Silverstein never told Swiss Re underwriters of the switch, and that his company would have had to approve the changes.

"The operative form for the Silverstein placement was Wilprop," a policy form issued by Silverstein broker Willis Group Holdings Ltd., Ostrager told a federal jury in his summations after a 10-week trial to decide which policy form governed the coverage of 13 insurers.

The Wilprop form defines the word "occurrence" and the trade center's destruction as one event, meaning only one payout would occur.

The verdict could help determine whether Silverstein gets the chance to argue at a second trial that he deserves twice his $3.5 billion policy for the trade center's collapse, one for each tower destroyed by a hijacked jetliner.

Lower Manhattan development officials say the insurance proceeds will help maintain the rebuilding schedule at the trade center site.

The insurance companies argue they were bound on Sept. 11 to the Wilprop form.

Silverstein argues that his broker switched in July 2001 to a policy form issued by Travelers Property Casualty Corp., which does not define "occurrence." The policy had not been finalized by Sept. 11, 2001.

But Ostrager argued that Swiss Re's underwriter, Daniel Bollier, had never agreed to the change in policy form and had never discussed it with his Willis broker, Paul Blackmore, although Blackmore discussed dozens of other minor details with him.

Blackmore had sent a Travelers form in an e-mail attachment in July 2001 to Bollier, but Ostrager said that Bollier didn't look at it carefully because he believed Blackmore would have discussed the change with him.

He said that Silverstein's insurance manager, Robert Strachan, faxed copies of the Wilprop form on Sept. 12, 2001, to the site's owner and leading lenders when asked for the "operative policy form."

Ostrager said that Willis brokers "manufactured a story" to support the switch to the Travelers form. He asked jurors why Willis would switch to a different company's form and why its brokers testified at trial that they weren't familiar with it. The jury was expected to begin deliberations on Monday.

Copyright 2004 Newsday, Inc.

MrShakespeare
April 17th, 2004, 01:58 PM
Big Mac's posts from the Associated Press (above) describe the closing arguments in this case, but I think that Best describes them more clearly (below)...

For what it is worth, it sounds to me like Silverstein came on strong at the end of the trial (after a rough couple of weeks in the middle of it).

Best's Insurance News
Copyright 2004 (c) A.M. Best Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, April 16, 2004

Closing Arguments Cap 10 Weeks of World Trade Center Trial

NEW YORK (BestWire) - Closing arguments capped the 10th week of a grueling
civil trial that will set the stage for final determinations on insurance
payouts related to the Sept. 11, 2001, destruction of the World Trade Center,
with attorneys for the twin towers' leaseholders and their opponents
representing the insurers summing up their arguments concerning who agreed to
what coverage prior to the catastrophe. Lawyers for the plaintiffs--13
property insurers and reinsurers--and defendant leaseholders on the World Trade
Center, summed up their arguments for a jury of 12 in the courtroom of Judge
Michael B. Mukasey of U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
in Manhattan. Mukasey is scheduled to give final instructions to the jury on
April 19, after which deliberations will begin.

Silverstein Properties, the leaseholder for the World Trade Center's office
space, and co-defendant Westfield Properties, which leased the twin towers'
retail space, contend the destruction of the World Trade Center was two events,
rather than one, as the insurers claim. The jury must decide whether or not
each of the insurers agreed to be bound to coverage of the World Trade Center
under a form developed by broker Willis Group Holdings Ltd., known as WilProp
2000. Silverstein contends that most, if not all, of the insurers switched to
another form, developed by Travelers Insurance Co.

Previous court rulings already established the WilProp form defines the
destruction of the World Trade Center as one event, which would cost the
insurers an aggregate $3.55 billion in claims. The Travelers form leaves the
definition of occurrence less clear. If, as Silverstein contends, the
destruction was two events, the total insurance bill would approach $7 billion.

Herbert M. Wachtell, lead attorney for Silverstein Properties, began his
summation by driving to the heart of the matter for the leaseholders--none of
the insurers, he said, had ever formally bound to the WilProp form before Sept.
11. To illustrate his argument, Wachtell displayed for the jury the binding
slips each of the insurers used to commit to insuring the World Trade Center
property. He argued that the insurers, mostly by simply not stating a
preference, were bound to the Travelers form on July 2001, after Travelers
insisted it would only be bound under its own form.

"The program policy form changed from WilProp to Travelers back in July (2001)
when Travelers insisted on using its own form," said Wachtell. "These insurers
did not then bind to WilProp. They were either told not WilProp, or they waived
wording. No single binder or slip here says WilProp."

Wachtell noted that the jury need not decide whether any of the insurers bound
under the Travelers form or any other arrangement--they need only decide
whether or not each insurer agreed to be bound under WilProp. Pointing out that
there was not final insurance policy in place when the twin towers were
destroyed on Sept. 11, Wachtell said the insurance process "was incomplete, and
precisely because it was incomplete, these insurance companies are attempting
to exploit that circumstance by trying to persuade you that when they signed
their binders and slips, they really embraced...WilProp."

As he argued that much of the testimony over the past 10 weeks highlighted
uncertainty as to what was governing insurance coverage on the World Trade
Center, Wachtell told the jury that, whether or not there was proof the
insurers bound to anything other than WilProp, if the jurors are convinced
there was "no meeting of the minds on any particular policy form," that also
means they did not bind under WilProp.

Wachtell also labeled as "nonsense," previous arguments by attorneys for the
insurers that some policy form had to be in place to cover bound insurance
before a final agreement was in place. "There need not be any particular policy
form agreed upon or in place during the binder or slip period," he said. "If
there is not policy form agreed to, the law will apply terms, and those terms
likely would be the customary term of the insurance company's own standard
form. They don't want that."

As he ended his summation, Wachtell ticked off testimony from a number of
witnesses who were with some of the insurers that he said demonstrated what
they agreed to or didn't agree to before Sept. 11, 2001, did not match what
they were now trying to convince the jury of. "After 9/11, everybody's got a
story, but before 9/11, nobody bound any of these insurers to WilProp," he
said. "If these insurance companies really wanted WilProp back in the summer of
2001, their underwriters could very easily have written a single word on their
binders or slips--WilProp. Not one of them did."

Barry Ostrager, the lead attorney for Swiss Reinsurance Co., the insurer with
the biggest exposure to World Trade Center claims, opened his summation with a
review of the insurance decisions made in the three months leading up to Sept.
11, including Swiss Re's binding to coverage on July 17, based, he said, on the
WilProp form. Ostrager also focused on the actions of risk managers for
Silverstein and Westfield on Sept. 12--specifically, faxes sent to various
parties, pointing to WilProp as the governing insurance document. Ostrager
maintained that those actions, on the part of people working for the
leaseholders, are key to sorting out what at the time was understood to be the
governing legal binders on insurance coverage.

"I told you in my opening that Swiss Re would prove its case out of the mouths
of the witnesses of the other side, and I believe I've kept that promise during
this trial," Ostrager said.

Ostrager argued that attorneys for Silverstein attempted to show that Robert
Strachan, Silverstein's risk manager, "wasn't thinking very clearly" on Sept.
12, when he sent faxes to Silverstein's financial backers--most notably GMAC
Commercial Mortgage Corp.--and World Trade Center owner the Port Authority of
New York and New Jersey, that referred to WilProp (BestWire, Feb. 12, 2004).
"The evidence showed that Mr. Strachan was in a unique position to accurately
tell GMAC, and the Port Authority, and you, that the operative form for the
Silverstein placement was WilProp," he said.

Attorney David Boies, who represents the London insurers, asked the jury to
consider the Lloyd's syndicates involved as one insurer, since they negotiated
coverage participation collectively, and used the same slip to bind to
coverage. Boies attacked arguments made during the trial by attorneys for the
leaseholders that something had been held back from the jury, since
representatives of all of the 20 or more Lloyd's syndicates that had a piece of
the World Trade Center business had not taken the stand to give testimony.

"The suggestion that somehow we needed to bring another 20 witnesses to this
trial I think is not accurate," said Boies. "That indeed is a point that was
made by two of Silverstein's own witnesses..."

Boies also took aim at Wachtell's argument that because WilProp was not
mentioned on binder slips signed by the insurers, those insurers had
surrendered their right to insist on a particular form. "Even if the terms of a
binder do not refer to a particular policy form, it is still possible that the
parties agreed that that particular form would govern the terms of the coverage
if other evidence shows that they did," said Boies.

The critical point in Boies' argument is that, since no policy form is
mentioned on the binder slips, the most reliable source for terms and
conditions to which the insurers bound is the policy form that was "exchanged"
between the leaseholders' broker--Willis--and the insurers during negotiations.
Trial testimony demonstrated that "the only form that was exchanged with the
London insurers...was WilProp," he said.

The current trial is the first of three possible phases to determine how much
insurance money the leaseholders will eventually get. The current trial will
determine whether any of the insurers and reinsurers were bound under WilProp.
In a second phase, any insurers not bound by WilProp would have to state their
case that the destruction of the World Trade Center was one event rather than
two under the insurance form they did use. If that phase determines that the
insurance form used defined the catastrophe as two events, a third phase will
determine how much the insurer should be liable to pay (BestWire, Jan. 5,
2004).

Silverstein had been fighting the insurers on several fronts through a series
of appeals, losing all of those appeals along the way. One of the most
significant rulings he could not overturn came last December, when a federal
appeals court denied Silverstein a rehearing in a case involving Hartford Fire
Insurance Co., Royal Indemnity Co. and St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Co. The
ruling upheld a U.S. District Court decision that the destruction of the World
Trade Center was a single occurrence for those insurers because they used the
WilProp form (BestWire, Dec. 15, 2003).

(By David Pilla, senior associate editor, BestWeek: David.Pilla@ambest.com)

Kris
April 19th, 2004, 04:30 AM
April 19, 2004

One Attack or Two? Jury to Get Trade Center Insurance Claim

By CHARLES V. BAGLI

It will probably take more than 90 minutes for the judge to deliver a complex set of jury instructions this morning in the bitter multibillion-dollar court battle between developer Larry A. Silverstein and insurers over what coverage was in effect at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

But after hearing 10 weeks of testimony, the jury will begin to deliberate over matters that will ultimately dictate how much insurance money will be available to rebuild the sprawling trade center complex.

Mr. Silverstein claims that the companies are bound by a policy known as the Travelers form, which he says makes it easier to claim that the attack - with two planes hitting the two towers at two different times - constituted two occurrences, entitling him to two payments.

Barry R. Ostrager, the lawyer for Swiss Re, the largest insurer among 10 in the case, argued in his summation on Thursday that Mr. Silverstein and his brokers "manufactured a story" that they hoped would enable the developer to receive a double insurance payment, totaling nearly $7 billion. The insurers, two dozen in all, contend that Mr. Silverstein is entitled to no more than the policy limit, $3.55 billion.

Citing different testimony and documents from the same people cited by the opposing counsel, Herbert Wachtell, Mr. Silverstein's lead lawyer, said in his summation last week that despite "overwhelming incontrovertible evidence" concerning the insurers' obligations, the companies were "attempting to exploit" the confusion surrounding the trade center attack on Sept. 11, 2001.

In spite of the vast sums at stake, the trial has not garnered the same attention as other major cases of late. It does not have the celebrity of the Martha Stewart case, or the sex appeal of the trial of L. Dennis Kozlowski, the former Tyco executive, with its tales of corporate looting and $2 million birthday parties.

The trade center case involves a developer, Mr. Silverstein, who gained control of the trade center six weeks before it was destroyed, and a bunch of insurance companies. At trial, the two sides argued over insurance forms, binders, telephone conversations and e-mail messages.

One person connected to one of the litigants in the case acknowledged that it was hard to choose sides based on emotions. "There's a built-in dislike of insurance companies," he said. "But there's a built in dislike of big, rich landlords too."

The money at stake will be used to help redevelop the trade center site. The insurers have already turned over $1.9 billion, and $1.6 billion of it has been spent on rent, legal and development fees and paying off the mortgage. The first building, the Freedom Tower, is expected to cost $1.5 billion. Mr. Silverstein has estimated it will cost a total of $9 billion to rebuild the site.

The trial is the first of three legal proceedings that will determine how much more the insurers must pay. The case is complicated by the fact that the insurers had signed binders pledging to provide coverage, but had not completed the final documents before Sept. 11, 2001.

Many of the companies say that they agreed to provide insurance based on the so-called Wilprop form, a policy devised by Mr. Silverstein's consultants to avoid multiple deductibles. The court has already ruled that under the definitions included in the Wilprop form, the attack is viewed as one occurrence and that Mr. Silverstein gets only one payment. So the jury in this case is being asked to determine whether Swiss Re and nine other insurers agreed to provide coverage based on Wilprop.

Travelers and five other companies say that they agreed to the Travelers form or some other policy that they say also treats the attack as one occurrence. Mr. Silverstein says that those policies treat the attack as two occurrences, requiring a double payment. That issue will be the subject of a second proceeding.

Mr. Silverstein's lawyers have acknowledged that they distributed the Wilprop form early in the summer of 2001, but they say Travelers insisted on using its own form. For the sake of consistency, they sought to switch all the companies over to the Travelers form. Mr. Wachtell cited in his summation a July 12 e-mail message between Mr. Silverstein's insurance brokers in which they reluctantly concluded that they had to make the switch to the Travelers form.

Mr. Wachtell also cited a July 23 e-mail message from Mr. Silverstein's broker to an executive at Swiss Re that included an attachment containing the Travelers form.

But the Swiss Re executive testified that he had been negotiating provisions of the Wilprop policy for weeks and was awaiting detailed information about various policy limitations when he received the e-mail message. He claimed that he ignored the Travelers form because he was looking for the limitations.

The Silverstein insurance brokers conceded that Swiss Re never rejected the Wilprop form or formally adopted the Travelers form.

But summarizing testimony from the Silverstein brokers, Mr. Wachtell said that Swiss Re and other insurers had been notified in numerous telephone conversations of the policy switch. The companies that had not formally adopted Travelers had committed, he said, to "no policy," with wording to be agreed on later.

But if the Silverstein brokers had decided on the switch in July, 2001, it was an inconsistent effort. The courts have already ruled that three companies - St. Paul, Royal and Hartford - agreed to Wilprop, both before and after July 12. Mr. Silverstein also settled with two other companies that used Wilprop. Three London-based insurers contend that they received Wilprop documents as late as August 10.

In his summation, David Boies, the lawyer for the London insurers, told the jury that it should examine the faxes sent the day after the attack by Robert Strachan, a key Silverstein executive who spent months overseeing the insurance placement.

In response to a request from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for the insurance policy that was in effect and the definition of an occurrence that would require payment, Mr. Strachan sent the Wilprop form with a written note, "That's it."

Mr. Wachtell said that Mr. Strachan made an honest mistake "amidst the turmoil" the day after the attack and sent the Wilprop form "because that was all he had."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

MrShakespeare
April 20th, 2004, 06:50 PM
From Reuters....

Note the last paragraph regarding the instructions to the jury... Apparently, a "tie" (evenly weighted evidence) will be a victory for Silverstein.

Jury in WTC Insurance Trial Begins Deliberations
Mon Apr 19, 2004 12:20 PM ET

By Philip Klein
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A jury began deliberations on Monday morning in a multibillion dollar suit over insurance coverage on the New York World Trade Center that will help determine how much money is available to rebuild the complex.

At issue is whether a dozen insurers led by Zurich-based Swiss Re agreed to an insurance form that defined the destruction of the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001 as one event.

Lawyers for the leaseholder of the property, Larry Silverstein, have argued that since the towers were brought down by two different plane crashes, he should be able to collect double on his roughly $3.5 billion policy.

That money would be essential as Silverstein and New York Gov. George Pataki are attempting to lay a cornerstone this summer on plans to rebuild the complex.

The complex was destroyed just six weeks after Silverstein leased it, and he has been in an acrimonious battle with insurers ever since.

There may be as many as three trials to ultimately determine how much insurers owe, but this first one focuses on the narrow issue of whether 12 insurers signed onto a form of broker Willis Group Holdings Ltd. . Prior court decisions have determined that under that form, the towers' destruction was one event.

U.S. District Court Judge Michael Mukasey of the Southern District of New York instructed the jury Monday morning that the insurers had the burden of proof to show that a majority of the evidence pointed toward insurers signing to the Willis form. Mukasey said if the evidence was equal on both sides, they had to vote against the insurers.

MrShakespeare
April 20th, 2004, 06:56 PM
Another post, this one from Bloomberg...

I have been looking for a concise list of the various insurers' obligations in this case. Those amounts are listed below - at the bottom of the article.


Silverstein World Trade Center Insurance Case Goes to Jury
April 19 (Bloomberg) -- World Trade Center leaseholder Larry Silverstein's claim that his insurers owe him almost twice their policy limits, or as much as $6.8 billion, based on a switch in insurance forms, went to a jury in U.S. court in New York after a judge spent 41 minutes instructing them on applicable law.

Silverstein's insurers, led by Swiss Reinsurance Co., filed suit one month after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, saying they owed him no more than $3.55 billion, the amount of insurance he bought in July 2001 when he leased the complex for 99 years from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The developer said he may be owed twice that, based on a change in policy forms that may recognize the attacks by two hijacked jets as two losses.

In his charge to the six-man, five-woman jury, U.S. District Court Judge Michael Mukasey told them their job is to determine whether the form insurers say was in place -- a Willis Group Holdings Ltd. document known as Wilprop 2000 -- governed each insurer's agreement to provide coverage on Sept. 11, without sympathy or prejudice toward Silverstein or the insurers.

The trial is the first of three possible proceedings that will determine how much Silverstein will get to rebuild commercial office space at the trade center site, including the proposed 1,776-foot Freedom Tower. New York Governor George Pataki has championed the rebuilding of Ground Zero as critical to lower Manhattan's economic recovery.

The first proceeding involves 13 of the 22 members of Silverstein's insurance pool, including Swiss Re, Lloyds of London -- which provided 19 percent of the coverage -- Chubb Corp. and Employers Insurance of Wausau. All 13 claim to have offered insurance based on the Wilprop form, which was circulated by the developer's insurance broker, Willis Group, the month before he signed the lease.

`Occurrence' Definition

The Wilprop form contains a definition of the word ``occurrence'' that would limit Silverstein to no more than a $3.55 billion total-loss payment. Silverstein and Willis say that they switched each insurer to another form, written by Travelers Indemnity Co., which has no such definition, and may entitle Silverstein to double payouts on the basis that two jets hitting each of the twin towers constitutes two different occurrences.

According to the case presented by Silverstein's attorney, Herbert Wachtell, Swiss Re received the Travelers form in an e- mail three days before its representative signed a revised placing slip. Barry Ostrager, the attorney for Zurich-based Swiss Re -- the world's second-largest reinsurer and holder of 22 percent of Silverstein's coverage, the largest share -- said the e-mail wasn't explicit enough to constitute a change in operative forms.

Except for one insurer, Allianz AG, which isn't in this phase of the case, none of the insurers had final insurance contracts on Sept. 11.

Waived Right?

Wachtell said Lloyd of London's member insurers all waived their right to specify a policy form, and the others were told in conversations with their underwriters that Willis had switched the form to Travelers. Lawyers for the insurers, including Lloyds's David Boies, said Willis never documented the switch and never sent them the Travelers form before the attack took place.

The 10-week trial is to be followed by a second phase involving Travelers, Allianz, two other insurers who didn't accept the Wilprop form, and any insurer that loses the first phase, to determine whether the trade center attack was one occurrence or two. The third phase would set damages.

The case is SR International Business Insurance Co. Ltd. v. World Trade Center Properties LLC et al, 01-CIV-9291.

Insurers, Coverage Amounts

The plaintiff insurers in the first phase of the trial, their base of operations and the amount of their policies on a single occurrence are:

Swiss Reinsurance Co. of Zurich, Switzerland, $778.1 million.

Lloyds of London Syndicates, U.K., $662.8 million.

Federal Insurance Co., a unit of Chubb Corp., U.S., $254.3 million.

Royal Specialty Underwriting Inc., U.S., $178 million.

Swiss Reinsurance UK, U.K., $83.3 million.

Employers Insurance of Wausau, U.S., $64.9 million.

Zurich America Co., U.S., $45.7 million.

Great Lakes Reinsurance PLC of London, U.K., $35 million.

Wurttembergische Versicherung AG, U.K., $16 million.

QBE International Insurance Ltd., U.K., $12.5 million.

Lexington Insurance Co., U.S., $5 million.

Copenhagen Reinsurance Co., U.K., $4 million.

Twin City Fire Insurance Co., U.S., a unit of Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., $2.5 million.

Houston Casualty Co., U.K., $2.4 million.

krulltime
April 23rd, 2004, 03:02 PM
Silverstein jury to resume deliberations Monday

April 23, 2004

The jury in the World Trade Center insurance case ended four days of deliberations Thursday without reaching a verdict. Deliberations are set to resume Monday.

The 11-member panel’s decision on which insurance policy was in effect when terrorists destroyed the Twin Towers will ultimately determine how much WTC leaseholder Larry Silverstein gets for rebuilding. The insurers say they are bound by the Willis Group form, which defines the plane attacks as a single event. Mr. Silverstein contends that a form drawn up by Travelers, which remains subject to interpretation, superseded the Willis policy.

On Thursday, in a statement that Larry Silverstein's attorney called "highly prejudicial," the judge in the case said that insurers could be bound by a policy even if they didn't have an actual copy of it. That has been a big issue for British insurers, such as Lloyd’s, because many of them signed binders without having seen the Willis Group form. Earlier in the week, the jury asked whether silence on the part of Swiss Re, which holds the largest share of coverage, could be construed as tacit acceptance of the Travelers form. The judge did little to resolve the question, saying that if a party remains silent, “the earlier agreement continues to govern, unless silence would mislead the party that asked to switch forms by making the party believe there had been an agreement.”

Copyright 2004, Crain Communications, Inc

ZippyTheChimp
April 27th, 2004, 11:38 PM
NY Newsday

Juror asks out of WTC deliberations

BY ERROL A. COCKFIELD JR.
Staff Writer

April 27, 2004, 8:42 PM EDT

A juror deliberating in the World Trade Center insurance trial told a judge's law clerk Tuesday morning that she wanted to leave the panel.

Deliberations resumed with her participation, but the complaints triggered fears of a possible mistrial in the high-stakes case. After a break today, the jury is slated to begin its seventh day of deliberations tomorrow at federal court in Manhattan.

At midmorning Tuesday, U.S. District Chief Justice Michael Mukasey told lawyers involved in the case that one of the 11 jurors had told his aide that she wanted out of the trial.

It was unclear whether the juror would remain or if her desire to leave stemmed from acrimony among members of the panel. "The question is how long do we let her stew in there," Mukasey said.

Later in the day, Mukasey said he considered talking to the juror about her concerns, but decided against it out of fear that those very discussions would prejudice the jury.

"If the reason for her wanting to leave ... has to do with a disagreement, then that would pollute any instruction that I gave her later on,"

Herbert Wachtell, the lead lawyer for World Trade Center leaseholder Larry Silverstein, agreed with the judge, saying "It would probably be a mistake for us to enter into a discussion."

Mukasey asked the lawyers to consider whether they would accept a verdict that was not unanimous if the juror left. In civil trials a jury may continue deliberating with as few as six members. Silverstein's layers were in favor of accepting a verdict from a scaled-down jury, but lawyers for the insurance companies could not reach a consensus.

Mukasey told the lawyers he would wait for a formal request from the juror before taking any decisive action. And by Tuesday afternoon, the jury appeared to be deliberating normally.

Given the amount of money on the line, the possibility of a mistrial jolted the trial, which pits Larry Silverstein against 12 insurers. Silverstein claims they owe him $7 billion because the two planes striking the Twin Towers were two separate events.

The insurers say Silverstein should receive $3.5 billion because they agreed to policy language that defines the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 as one occurrence.

After a 10-week trial and six days of deliberations the juror's statement also raised the specter that the trial -- the first of three phases in the insurance battle -- would be for naught.

The development came three weeks after juror Ruth Jordan upset the high-profile Tyco corporate fraud trial after people in the courtroom said they saw her flash an "OK" sign to defense lawyers.

The case ended in a mistrial after Jordan's name was printed in two newspapers and she received a threatening letter at her home.

The scale of the rebuilding at Ground Zero hinges upon the trial's outcome. If he receives all $7 billion, Silverstein hopes to put up the 1,776-foot Freedom Tower and four other towers, totaling 10 million square feet of new commercial office space.

Copyright © 2004, Newsday, Inc.

MrShakespeare
April 29th, 2004, 05:12 PM
This is terrible news...


Silverstein Suffers Defeat In Trade Center Trial

Associated Press

April 29, 2004 3:57 p.m.

NEW YORK -- World Trade Center leaseholder Larry Silverstein suffered a defeat Thursday in his court battle to double the money he receives from the trade center's $3.5 billion insurance policy.

A jury, in a partially delivered verdict, found that the majority of the insurers who hold a large portion of the policy are bound by a form that defined the Sept. 11 attack as one event.

It was the first of at least two trials that will ultimately decide how much insurance money will be available to rebuild ground zero.

Copyright © 2004 Associated Press

BigMac
April 29th, 2004, 11:35 PM
Newsday
April 29, 2004

WTC developer suffers setback

BY ERROL A. COCKFIELD JR.

A federal jury handed World Trade Center leaseholder Larry Silverstein a significant defeat Thursday in his battle against a group of insurers, issuing a partial verdict that will cost him about $1 billion and severely limit his ability to rebuild the entire Ground Zero site.

The panel reached decisions on all but one of 12 insurers in the unprecedented trial. It found that eight had not agreed to insurance contracts that Silverstein claims entitles him to double payments. As a result, the eight insurance companies will pay Silverstein $1.06 billion instead of $2.12 billion.

The jury moved three other insurance companies -- Zurich American Insurance Company, Royal Indemnity Company and Twin City Fire Insurance company -- into a second trial, where it will be decided whether they must pay a combined $175.8 million or $351.6 million, unless those companies win appeals.

Those three will now join seven other insurers in the second trial, in which a jury will address the specific question of whether the terrorist attack was one occurrence or two.

The panel of six women and five men did not reach a unanimous verdict on the lead insurer, Swiss Re International Business Insurance Co. Ltd., which has $877.5 million worth of coverage on the trade center. After a break today, they were expected to continue deliberating Monday whether Swiss Re must pay double, or $1.75 billion.

"We have focused our efforts on this one insurer for the majority of the past five days with great diligence and in spite of our best efforts have not been able to reach a unanimous decision," the jury stated in a note sent to U.S. District Chief Justice Michael B. Mukasey on their seventh day of deliberations.

The decision Thursday may prove to be a crippling financial blow for Silverstein, who has staked much of his personal reputation on rebuilding the World Trade Center complex he had leased two months before the terrorist attack.

In all, Silverstein had been seeking double payments from 19 insurance companies or a combined $7 billion. Five insurance companies settled with Silverstein for $477 million before the trial began. Thursday's verdict means the most Silverstein could receive from insurance companies would be about $5.5 billion.

After the verdict, his attorneys seemed determined to eke out a partial victory against Swiss Re, which holds a bulk of the coverage.

The trial centered mainly on the actions of Silverstein's insurance broker, Timothy Boyd, of Willis Groups Holdings Ltd., who was scrambling to secure coverage for Silverstein in July just as the developer was hoping to close his lease deal.

Boyd claimed he had told underwriters for the various insurers that he was switching from an insurance binder, known as WilProp, to a Travelers Indemnity Company form because Travelers was insistent that the form be used for all the companies in the multibillion-dollar insurance program.

During the 10-week trial, however, underwriters for the various insurers testified again and again that Boyd never told them about any switch.

"It's a vindication of our underwriter's testimony as opposed to Mr. Boyd's," said Christopher Finazzo, an attorney for Employers Insurance of Wausau. "I thought it was fairly clear that Mr. Boyd's story about his dealings with ... underwriters was not credible."

Experts who have been following the rebuilding closely agreed that with limited resources Silverstein may have to settle for building World Trade Center 7, a project he began last year, and the 1,776-foot Freedom Tower. But the decision signaled that Silverstein may be hurt in his bid to build four other office towers planned for Ground Zero.

"All the other pieces of the plan are dependent on the insurance," said Kevin Rampe, president of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., the agency that has been leading the redevelopment of the site. "They will take longer if he doesn't have the $7 billion."

Under the terms of a lease agreement with the Port Authority, the bi-state agency that owns Ground Zero, Silverstein is responsible for rebuilding the site, but officials familiar with that agreement say Silverstein may have to renegotiate to make way for other builders who have more money.

Attorneys for Silverstein, led by famed litigator Herbert Wachtell, did not comment Thursday, but Silverstein's spokesman, Howard Rubenstein, issued a statement on behalf of the developer, noting that the verdict was partial.

"We are awaiting the decision with respect to Swiss Re, the largest insurer in the World Trade Center coverage," Rubenstein said. "We will have no further comment while the jury continues to deliberate."

Attorneys for the other insurance companies celebrated their victory.

"We had a very clear and plausible story to tell," said Kenneth W. Erickson, an attorney for three companies in the Lloyds of London syndicate.

At the end of deliberations Thursday, Mukasey dismissed one juror who had to leave the panel for personal reasons. He warned members of the jury, who are set to resume deliberations Monday on Swiss Re, to avoid news media reports about the trial.

"Please don't see or hear about any of those reports," Mukasey said.

Copyright 2004 Newsday, Inc.

Kris
April 30th, 2004, 06:14 AM
April 30, 2004

Blow to Builder Over Insurance at Ground Zero

By ROBERT D. McFADDEN

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/04/30/nyregion/30WTC.jpg
Larry A. Silverstein, the trade center leaseholder. "This is a partial verdict,'' a spokesman said.

A federal jury in Manhattan handed the developer Larry A. Silverstein a major setback yesterday in his bitter legal battle with two dozen insurers over how much money will be available for rebuilding the sprawling World Trade Center site. The panel ruled that many of the insurers were not liable for the double payments he had sought.

After 10 weeks of a trial whose testimony was a dry compendium of arcane talk by underwriters and other experts, the jury cut more than $1 billion from the insurers' potential liability. That meant that Mr. Silverstein could recoup no more than $5.5 billion — far short of his hope for more than $7 billion — and that amount only if he won all the proceedings that remain in the complex legal case.

The decision cast doubt on his financing for four office towers planned for the ambitious project designed for ground zero. Still, money seems assured for the $1.5 billion, 1,776-foot Freedom Tower, while federal funds will be available for a $2 billion transit center. A combination of private and federal money will pay for the planned memorial and a museum and performing arts center.

Mr. Silverstein, who acquired a 99-year lease on the trade center six weeks before it was destroyed by terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001, had hoped to double the $3.55 billion insurance proceeds by insisting in court that the two planes that hit the twin towers constituted separate events, entitling him to more than $7 billion in insurance payments.

The insurers argued that Mr. Silverstein and his brokers had concocted a story that they hoped would persuade the jury to give him a double payment, and insisted that he was entitled to no more than the policy's $3.55 billion limit. They denied his contention that the insurers were bound by a form of policy that makes it easier to claim, for insurance purposes, that there were two attacks.

In a partial ruling yesterday affecting 11 of 12 of the insurance companies, the jury held that the liability of 8 insurers was limited to the original policy amounts, totaling about $1.06 billion. It also held that 3 other insurers might be liable for double payments on their $176 million in coverage, an issue to be determined at another trial — one that would also examine the liability of seven other insurers that provided nearly $1 billion in coverage.

One task remained for the jury in this trial. Judge Michael B. Mukasey accepted its partial findings, but ordered the panel to continue its deliberations Monday on Swiss Re International Business Insurance Company Ltd., which carried the largest share of the coverage, $877 million, or nearly a quarter of the package.

The judge, who dismissed one of the 11 jurors at her own request for personal reasons yesterday, had admonished all the lawyers to refrain from public comments, and those representing the insurance companies said nothing to reporters as they left the courtroom. But they were clearly exuberant, smiling and congratulating one another. Later, Ken Erickson, who represented Lloyd's of London and other London insurers that carried $719 million of the policy, was quoted by The Associated Press as saying, "We had a very clear and plausible story to tell."

Mr. Silverstein was more subdued as he left. "This is a partial verdict," he said in a brief statement issued later by his spokesman, Howard J. Rubenstein. "We are awaiting the decision with respect to Swiss Re, the largest insurer in the World Trade Center coverage. We will have no further comment while the jury continues to deliberate."

In the two and a half years since the attack on the trade center, Mr. Silverstein has lost a series of crucial rulings. The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit rejected his arguments last September and held that three insurance companies were obligated to pay only the $112 million amount of their policies. In addition, Mr. Silverstein settled with two other insurers, with coverage totaling $365 million.

The combination of yesterday's partial verdict and the earlier rulings and settlements have now assured Mr. Silverstein of $1.537 billion in payments. Rulings yet to come in at least two more trials will determine the amount of additional payments, which could be as little as $2 billion and as much as $4 billion.

The insurers have already paid out $1.9 billion, $600 million of which has been spent on rent, debt service and legal fees. Port Authority executives have said that Mr. Silverstein's legal fees have amounted to more than $100 million, a staggering sum in view of a legal strategy that has yielded very little.

But he was clearly in the fight to stay. "Larry Silverstein has said from the very start that he would rebuild the World Trade Center site, and he is a man of his word," the speaker of the State Assembly, Sheldon Silver, said yesterday.

During the trial, the dispute centered on which insurance form was in place at the time of the attack on the trade center. Mr. Silverstein insisted that the companies were bound by a policy known as the Travelers' form, which, he contended, made it easier to claim that the attack constituted two events.

The insurance companies, however, contended that the policy in force was the so-called Wilprop form, a policy that was devised and proposed by Mr. Silverstein's consultants to avoid multiple deductibles. The case is complicated by the circumstance that the insurers, in the summer of 2001, had signed binders pledging to provide coverage, but had not completed the final documents before Sept. 11.

In earlier rulings, the court had said that under the definitions included in the Wilprop form the attack was to be viewed as one occurrence warranting only one payment. So the jury in this case was asked to determine whether Swiss Re and 11 other insurers had agreed to provide the coverage based on Wilprop.

Mr. Silverstein's lawyers acknowledged that they distributed the Wilprop form to all the insurers in the summer of 2001 in anticipation of its use. But they contended that Travelers insisted on using its own form, and that for the sake of consistency they had sought to switch all the insurers over to the Travelers form.

But Swiss Re and others contended that the provisions of the Wilprop policy had never been set aside and the those of the Travelers form never formally adopted. The evidence and testimony thus swirled on arguments over who said what and when and how it was said: an avalanche of e-mail messages, insurance forms, binders and telephone conversations.

While vast sums were at stake, the trial did not attract wide public attention. It lacked the celebrity of the Martha Stewart case and the sex-appeal of the trial of L. Dennis Kozlowski, the former Tyco executive, with its accounts of corporate looting and multimillion-dollar birthday parties. And at bottom, it was a fight between unloved entities, insurance companies and a wealthy developer.

But the outcome of this and at least two more trials — one to determine whether insurers excluded from the Wilprop protections will pay double, and another to fix the exact amounts to be paid — could have a major impact on the shape and pace of development at the trade center site.

The cloud cast by yesterday's partial verdict did not fall on the best-known element of the project: the soaring Freedom Tower, with 2.6 million square feet of office and commercial space on the northwest corner of the site. Mr. Silverstein has committed $1.5 billion of the insurance money to build it. But the shadow fell across four more office towers with 7.4 million square feet of space that Mr. Silverstein had said he would build over the next decade.

Even if Mr. Silverstein were to lose the remaining legal battles, there will be some money, but perhaps not enough, for the four office towers. They are to have sloped roofs in ascending heights, like the steppingstones of a giant leading up to the Freedom Tower and its spire.

The birdlike steel-and-glass transit terminal will be federally financed, and federal and foundation money will pay for the memorial — two water-filled voids set in a landscaped plaza to mark the places where the twin towers stood — and the two cultural buildings.

Much remains to be decided, but Kevin M. Rampe, the president of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, sounded confident yesterday. "Nothing will hinder the rebuilding process, and we will continue to move forward," he said.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Kris
May 1st, 2004, 02:00 AM
May 1, 2004

How a Verdict Could Alter the Shape of Lower Manhattan

By DAVID W. DUNLAP

Though it is neither their purpose nor their charge, the jurors in the insurance case involving Larry A. Silverstein, the commercial leaseholder at the World Trade Center site, may be reshaping the future of downtown.

By significantly limiting the insurance proceeds to Mr. Silverstein, and therefore his construction financing, they have made it more likely that only one skyscraper, the Freedom Tower, will rise at ground zero in the foreseeable future.

Where the plan calls for three more office towers along Church Street, between Vesey and Liberty Streets, there may instead be only low-rise retail buildings, flanking a permanent PATH terminal and bordering the landscaped memorial.

In any case, the development is to occur in phases over the next decade, and the construction of small, place-holding retail structures is part of the plan. But they may be there longer than anyone anticipated. And as the development timeline stretches out, the likelihood increases that the plan will eventually change, with or without Mr. Silverstein.

Charles A. Gargano, the vice chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the trade center site and leases it to Mr. Silverstein, said yesterday that the authority's commissioners "have had discussions about things - what if, what if," as a prudent measure "to get ourselves prepared for any eventuality."

But he also said the authority was bound to honor the terms of the lease.

"That agreement is in place," Mr. Gargano said in an interview. "Larry Silverstein has been making payments and he has been cooperative with the Port Authority in a very complex and challenging situation in Lower Manhattan. And I think that for us to discount the fact that we have this agreement in place is wrong."

Some critics of the redevelopment process, while not celebrating Mr. Silverstein's legal setback, hope that his difficulties might encourage state officials to rethink the whole plan, which is based on providing Mr. Silverstein with 10 million square feet of office space, as much as he had before the trade center was destroyed.

With the partial verdict on Thursday in the insurers' favor, it is certain that he will not receive enough insurance money to complete the project. The shortfall may range from $1 billion to $4 billion.

"We're going to have to take a fresh look at the program of 10 million square feet," said Jeremy Soffin, director of public affairs at the private Regional Plan Association.

"A broader mix of uses on the site would certainly be appropriate," he said, "including residential and more cultural uses and a very high concentration of commercial, as well. It's a question of slimming it down a bit and following the market. And we don't believe there is a market for that much office space on the site."

David Dyssegaard Kallick, the coordinator of the Labor Community Advocacy Network to Rebuild New York, said: "The undecided nature of the lawsuit skewed the whole process. You couldn't say, 'What would happen if we built less,' because everyone was deferring to Larry Silverstein."

For now, there is no change to the general project plan, which is moving toward adoption next month by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. It calls for four buildings on the trade center site itself and a fifth office tower to replace the badly damaged Deutsche Bank building across Liberty Street.

And Mr. Silverstein, 72, has never shown any sign of wavering. In a speech last December, he said, "We have the wherewithal to start and build the first phase" - the $1.5 billion Freedom Tower, which is to be finished in 2009. Following that, he said, he planned to complete a tower a year from 2010 to 2013, until his 82nd birthday.

To proceed at that pace and scale, however, he needed to persuade the courts that he was entitled to twice the face value of the $3.55 billion of insurance he carried on the trade center, which he took over in July 2001 on a 99-year lease. The claim would be based on defining the 2001 attack, as two occurrences.

On Thursday, a federal jury determined that the liability of eight insurers was limited to the original amount, taking $1 billion off the table. Now, even if Mr. Silverstein prevails on the rest of his claims, he could expect no more than $5.5 billion to meet development costs that will be at least $1 billion greater.

That does not mean he is without resources. He could, for instance, borrow against existing buildings. Or he could seek conventional financing. But in that case, prospective lenders would almost certainly insist on tenant commitments.

From today's perspective, it is hard to see where those tenants would come from.

Across Vesey Street, Mr. Silverstein is building the 1.7 million-square-foot, 52-story 7 World Trade Center without a prime tenant. And he has no prime tenant yet for the 2.6 million-square-foot, 70-story Freedom Tower, on which ground is to be broken this summer.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

ZippyTheChimp
May 1st, 2004, 10:00 AM
The Larry Silverstein that signed the WTC lease is actually a consortium in which Silverstein is the lead investor. A shortfall of funds may mean he is forced to bring in other investors, or cede to the PA the right to offer leases for portions of the site to other developers.

In either case, Silverstein would have less influence over the entire development.

BigMac
May 2nd, 2004, 02:55 PM
New York Post
May 1, 2004

Realty Check

By STEVE CUOZZO

Larry Silverstein's big setback at the hands of some of his insurers this week spells trouble at Ground Zero - but not for the reason you might think.

The peril is not that the verdict leaves Silverstein short of what he needs to rebuild all the office towers at the World Trade Center site, but that it will encourage those who don't like the master plan to try and re-start the entire planning process from scratch.

The minimum $3.5 billion Silverstein will get is more than enough to complete the Freedom Tower, the reborn site's symbolic heart.

But many factions continue to hate the master plan roughed out by Daniel Libeskind and heavily massaged by Gov. Pataki, the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., the Port Authority and Silverstein. It isn't the esthetics they object to, but the restoration of the millions of square feet of commercial space that was destroyed on 9/11.

The no-more-offices crowd would rather have anything else at Ground Zero - housing, parks, bio-tech facilities, or a 16-acre memorial.

Their ranks include rival builders and landlords who resent Silverstein's Ground Zero monopoly. As long ago as January 2002, I was gleefully told by one real estate player whose name is well-known to readers of this newspaper that Silverstein's days as leaseholder were numbered.

Many landlord/developers never got over the fact that in the spring of 2001, hometown boy Silverstein whipped three publicly traded real estate companies that bid on the WTC leasehold.

They hate the fact that he's putting up 7 World Trade Center without a tenant - with 1.7 million square feet of new offices at subsidized rents to compete with their own pricier product.

Look for the real estate rivals to form a tactical alliance with certain powerful players willing to let the terrorists' work stand for years to facilitate their own interests.

Mayor Bloomberg, for one, has made no secret that he wants to shift office development from the Financial District to the far West 30s.

The New York Times looks out for the fortunes of its own real estate development partner, Bruce Ratner; his ambition to put up new office buildings in Brooklyn depends on curbing office redevelopment in downtown Manhattan.

Similarly inclined are influential think tanks, like the transit-mad Regional Plan Association, with utopian visions of what downtown should be.

Momentum to rebuild the WTC site as a commercial complex looked irreversible once all the players signed off on designs for the Freedom Tower, the transit hub and the memorial.

But the rejectionists have been lying in wait to counter-attack. Silverstein's court setback is the opening they needed.

They're saying he isn't the man for the job because he doesn't have the money - and use that as an excuse to try and drag the whole planning process back to square one.

The PA is already reported to be considering nudging Silverstein aside after the Freedom Tower. That won't satisfy the people willing to let all of Ground Zero lie fallow until they get their way.

Pataki and Silverstein need to get architect David Childs' cloud-busting tower under way before it's too late.

Copyright 2004 NYP Holdings, Inc.

NoyokA
May 2nd, 2004, 07:22 PM
Im soo sick and tired of reading Cuozzo’s conspiracy madness, how the world’s hates him, his own agendas, blah blah blah. Who cares?

ZippyTheChimp
May 3rd, 2004, 09:33 PM
http://www.bloomberg.com/index.html

Swiss Re Wins in Trade Center Trial Against Larry Silverstein

May 3 (Bloomberg) -- A New York jury agreed with Swiss Reinsurance Co. that its World Trade Center coverage on Sept. 11, 2001, limited its maximum payout to $877.5 million, handing developer Larry Silverstein his biggest defeat in a 2 1/2-year court battle with his insurers.

A 10-member jury found that Swiss Re, the insurer that provided about a quarter of Silverstein's $3.55 billion in coverage, issued a policy with language that defines the terrorist attack by two hijacked jets as one event. Silverstein, 72, claimed the policy was governed by a form that may view the assault as two occurrences, entitling him to double damages.

Silverstein's loss leaves the leaseholder of the trade center site with a maximum of $4.7 billion in insurance proceeds, short of the $7.5 billion he has said he needs for rebuilding at Ground Zero in New York. Jurors, who Friday said they were deadlocked on Swiss Re even as they found in favor of most of the 11 other insurers in the case, came to a decision after U.S. District Judge Michael Mukasey ordered them to take more time.

The case is SR International Business Insurance Co. Ltd. v. World Trade Center Properties LLC et al, 01-CIV-9291.

NoyokA
May 3rd, 2004, 09:35 PM
This is a heavy blow. This sucks.

NyC MaNiAc
May 3rd, 2004, 10:05 PM
So, what does this mean for the future?

BigMac
May 3rd, 2004, 10:45 PM
Yahoo! Finance
May 3, 2004

Press Release

Statement from Larry A. Silverstein Regarding Conclusion of WTC Insurance Trial

NEW YORK, May 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The following statement may be attributed to Larry A. Silverstein, President and CEO, Silverstein Properties, Inc.:

"Of course, I am disappointed that the jury did not see things our way with respect to most of the insurers in the WTC coverage. But let me be clear. A defeat in the courtroom is not a defeat for rebuilding. Whatever happens in court, we are determined to rebuild the World Trade Center, under Governor Pataki's leadership and in keeping with the Master Plan.

"Evidence of our determination to rebuild is all around. Seven World Trade Center is rising as we speak -- we are up to about 20 stories of 52 total. We expect it to be ready for occupancy by the end of 2005. In the coming months, we will break ground for the Freedom Tower, the world's tallest building, and we will complete it as scheduled in 2009.

"We are ready to move on to the second phase of the trial against ten insurers with more than a billion dollars worth of per occurrence coverage. We feel the evidence is strongly in our favor and look forward to our next day in court. And we're looking forward to the day when this litigation ends so we can focus all of our attention on rebuilding."

Copyright 2004 Yahoo! Inc.

Agglomeration
May 4th, 2004, 12:38 AM
IMO the WTC Attacks were a single event, not two as Silverstein had claimed. It turns out that Swiss Re was the biggest insurer of them all. A tally of the insurance companies involved, and the amount of money Silverstein wanted- and still wants- from them, is on this chart from Crain's New York (the chart was made before the Swiss Re verdict came out):

http://www.crainsny.com/images/random/mhchart.jpg

ZippyTheChimp
May 4th, 2004, 12:54 AM
If you've been following this thread, you would understand that the issue of "one or two events" was not being disputed in any logical sense, but only how the event was defined by the insurance policies.

Kris
May 4th, 2004, 01:13 AM
May 4, 2004

U.S. Jury Limits Payout of Trade Center's Biggest Insurer

By CHARLES V. BAGLI

A federal jury in Manhattan said yesterday that the single largest insurer at the World Trade Center was limited to a single payout of $877 million, not the double payment sought by the developer Larry A. Silverstein in his long-running legal battle over the downtown complex.

It was another blow to Mr. Silverstein's 29-month campaign to collect $7.1 billion for rebuilding the trade center site and one that could ultimately force him to settle with 10 remaining insurance companies. Last week, the jury ruled that eight of the two dozen insurers at the trade center were not liable for double payments.

Mr. Silverstein, who has spent well over $100 million on legal fees, argued that the insurers had switched to a policy known as the Travelers form, which he said would view two planes slamming into two different towers at two different times as two separate attacks, entitling him to two payments.

But the largest insurer, Swiss Re, contended that Mr. Silverstein, who acquired a 99-year lease of the trade center only six weeks before it was destroyed, had created a "self-motivated hoax" to enrich himself.

The jury said yesterday that Swiss Re, like 13 other insurers, had committed to providing insurance based on a proposed policy devised by Mr. Silverstein's own brokers, which was known as the Wilprop form.

The jury's latest decision reduces the maximum possible payout to $4.5 billion, if Mr. Silverstein wins every remaining legal battle, including a second trial that could start in August.

"We got a great outcome today," said Jacques E. Dubois, chairman of Swiss Re, who has traded barbed comments with Mr. Silverstein over the past two years. "It confirmed the view we held from the beginning. We bound on Wilprop, and the jury agreed."

An ebullient Mr. Dubois, who had frequently attended the 10-week trial, rushed to the courtroom yesterday, getting there shortly after the jury returned its verdict.

Mr. Silverstein, who has suffered a string of defeats in the case, declined requests for an interview.

In a statement he issued later in the evening, he said: "I am disappointed that the jury did not see things our way with respect to most of the insurers in the W.T.C. coverage. Whatever happens in court, we are determined to rebuild the World Trade Center, under Governor Pataki's leadership and in keeping with the master plan."

Both Mr. Silverstein and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey vowed to move forward with the rebuilding process regardless of the outcome of the trial. Mr. Silverstein has already begun work on the first of five towers proposed for the site. There is also $2 billion in federal funds and insurance proceeds available for the reconstruction of the transit center at the site. Rebuilding officials expect to raise the money for the memorial and two cultural buildings from private donations and federal funds.

"Of course we are disappointed in the outcome," said Joseph J. Seymour, executive director of the Port Authority. "However, Silverstein Properties is moving forward with construction of the Freedom Tower. In addition, federal funding to build the World Trade Center transportation hub designed by Santiago Calatrava has already been set aside." A spokeswoman for Gov. George E. Pataki released this statement: "We will move forward with the rebuilding. Nothing will stop us from keeping our commitment to the heroes we lost on that day."

But with the estimated cost of rebuilding the trade center at $9 billion, there are doubts about how soon, or even if, the four other office buildings at the site will be built.

In addition, Mr. Silverstein's ongoing role at the trade center has been a hot topic for two weeks at City Hall, at the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and among commissioners at the Port Authority.

City and state officials say that there is now increasing pressure on both Mr. Silverstein and the 10 remaining insurers to settle the dispute before the trial this summer, rather than wasting more money on legal fees.

But Mr. Silverstein expressed no misgiving yesterday. "We are ready to move on to the second phase of the trial against 10 insurers with more than a billion dollars worth of per-occurrence coverage," he said in his statement. "We feel the evidence is strongly in our favor and look forward to our next day in court."

Mr. Silverstein won control of the trade center in July 2001 through a combination of luck and determination. The 99-year lease was valued at $3.2 billion, although the developer put up very little of his own money, about $14 million. Under the terms of his lease, he has continued to pay about $120 million a year in rent with in insurance proceeds, and retained control of the site, in part, because no official wanted to upset the chances of his success in the lawsuit.

But with Mr. Silverstein now seemingly unable to fulfill his obligation to fully rebuild the 10-million-square-foot trade center, many officials say it may be time to remove him.

"You'd have to be blind not to realize that Larry losing the lawsuit changes his power in the overall equation," said one official active in the rebuilding process. "This has never been about Larry. It's about redeveloping the site."

A city official who requested anonymity suggested that it was wiser to allow Mr. Silverstein to build the first tower, at an estimated cost of $1.5 billion. The other office sites could be sold to other developers when there are tenants.

"You've got to let him save face," the official said. "They've got to cut a deal where he remains the developer of the first building, with a profit interest, and then cut him loose."

No one has come to a conclusion, but a top Port Authority official said it was clear that it was time to redefine the terms of its agreement.

"There's almost unanimous support on the board that we need to change his relationship," he said.

Mr. Silverstein has told the Port Authority that no matter what happens in court there will be enough insurance money for him to build the first two commercial towers at the site. He has said he would use conventional financing for the remaining buildings.

"Larry's not going anywhere," said one executive who has spoken recently with Mr. Silverstein. "He has an unconditional right in this lease to build five office towers at five locations identified in the master plan."

But rebuilding officials and downtown real estate owners are also now debating how much of the 10 million square feet of office space at the trade center must be replaced. City officials, and some landlords, for instance, contend that at least one of the office sites could be used for residential development instead, given the high vacancy rate downtown.

But the Alliance for Downtown New York argues that residential conversion would signal a lack of faith in downtown as a commercial district.

"We can, we must, and we will rebuild," said Kevin M. Rampe, president of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. "This is not a responsibility contingent upon the outcome of any lawsuit but a moral obligation borne of the worst terrorist attacks in our nation's history."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

BigMac
May 14th, 2004, 04:43 PM
New York Times
May 14, 2004

WTC Leaseholder Asked How He'll Rebuild

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- The owner of the World Trade Center site wants details from leaseholder Larry Silverstein on how he plans to pay to rebuild the site following a loss in a court case that had aimed to double his insurance payout.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is committed to working with Silverstein Properties "to find out what their financial plan is for the rebuilding of the entire site,'' authority spokesman Steve Coleman said.

In a statement released Thursday, Silverstein said he has had several "productive'' conversations with the Port Authority about financing.

"The Silverstein organization has an unconditional right and obligation to rebuild the 10 million square feet of office space lost on 9/11, and we will get the job done using insurance proceeds and traditional financing methods,'' the statement said.

Silverstein signed a 99-year lease for the trade center complex in July 2001 and obtained a $3.5 billion insurance policy. After the Sept. 11 attack, he went to court to try to obtain two payouts, one for each tower that fell.

A federal jury earlier this month significantly cut the amount of money Silverstein can seek to double. If he wins at a second trial later this year, the most he could collect from insurance would be $4.6 billion.

Estimates to rebuild the office space at the site, including the 1,776-foot Freedom Tower and four additional office buildings, have topped $7.5 billion.

Under Silverstein's lease, the Port Authority could find him in default if he fails to pay the $120 million-a-year rent or fails to rebuild all the office space that was lost. The lease doesn't set a rebuilding deadline.

Gov. George Pataki last week set a July 4 date to break ground on the Freedom Tower.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Bob
October 10th, 2004, 05:25 PM
Have always felt this was 2 events, not one. Had the 2nd event happened five days later than the first, would this even be an issue? That the attacks happened 15 minutes (or so) apart does not diminish the fact that there were 2 separate aircraft used to destroy two separate buildings.

ZippyTheChimp
October 10th, 2004, 10:03 PM
Many of us made the same mistake in thinking that the issue was the logic of whether or not the attack was two events.

If you read through the entire thread, you will see that it was about what type of insurance was specified. As the trial progressed and testimony was published, I had the sense that the Insurers' case was much stronger that that of Silverstein. Having all this information at the outset, his attorneys must have advised him that he faced an uphill battle.

BigMac
October 21st, 2004, 08:11 PM
New York Times
October 19, 2004

Another Trial Begins in Saga of Insurance Payment for the Trade Center

By CHARLES V. BAGLI

The second trial in the long-running battle between Larry A. Silverstein and insurers over how much money will be available for rebuilding the World Trade Center opened yesterday, with the developer's lawyer saying that nine companies had "failed to live up to their obligations," by refusing to pay $2.2 billion.

The lawyer, Bernard Nussbaum, said that terrorists crashed two planes into two separate towers, resulting in two fires and the collapse of two buildings, 29 minutes apart. Under the insurance forms in effect at the time, he said, the nine companies should pay $1.1 billion per occurrence, or $2.2 billion.

"If only one plane had struck one tower, only that tower would have collapsed," Mr. Nussbaum said in his opening statement, reprising an argument that failed to convince a jury in the first trial, against a different group of insurance companies earlier this year.

Lawyers for the insurers said that the attack on the trade center was a result of "one unified, coordinated terrorist attack." Mr. Silverstein, they said, was entitled to one payment for the occurrence, of no more than $1.1 billion, the policy limit per occurrence.

"The World Trade Center was not destroyed because two planes happened to crash into the World Trade Center," said Harvey Kurzweil, a lawyer for Travelers Indemnity Company, one of the nine companies involved in the trial. "The World Trade Center was destroyed by the obscene decision to turn two planes into weapons and crash them into the towers."

The trial in United States District Court in Manhattan, which is expected to last four or five weeks, is the second of three phases in the bitter dispute between the developer and the two dozen insurers who provided a total of $3.55 billion in property insurance. The matter is complicated by the fact that Mr. Silverstein took control of the trade center only six weeks before the attack, and insurers had signed binders based on different policies pledging to provide coverage, but not the final documents.

Mr. Silverstein, who has suffered a string of legal defeats, has argued that the attack on the trade center constituted two occurrences, entitling him to two payments.

But in the first trial, last spring, a jury found that Swiss Re and eight other insurers had been bound to a document that treated the attack as one occurrence. The court has determined that three other companies were obligated to pay only the amount of their policies, and two settled with Mr. Silverstein on the same basis. In the latest trial, a jury will decide whether the remaining nine insurance companies used a document under which the attack could be interpreted as one or two occurrences. Mr. Nussbaum told the jury yesterday that he would present testimony from an engineer to show that one jet would not have brought down both towers at the trade center.

Mr. Nussbaum's opening statement was interrupted repeatedly by objections from opposing lawyers, who complained that he was offering opinions rather than describing the evidence. After several warnings, Judge Michael B. Mukasey coldly ordered Mr. Nussbaum to "take your seat," cutting off his statement well before the end of his allotted 90 minutes.

Judge Mukasey had clashed with Mr. Silverstein's lawyer in the first case, Herbert M. Wachtell, who is also handling the third phase of the dispute, over the amount of the loss at the trade center

Michael Barr, a lawyer for Royal Indemnity, argued yesterday that all the insurers agreed to provide the same coverage based on the same terms and conditions, with only slight variations.

Mr. Silverstein had hoped to collect a total of $7.1 billion, but court decisions have cut his payout to a maximum of $4.5 billion, if he wins the current trial, unless he also wins a reversal of the first jury's verdict on an appeal.

Whatever the outcome of the trial, it is clear that there will not be enough insurance money to cover the estimated $9 billion cost of rebuilding the trade center. As a result, the city and the state have delayed the awarding of tax-exempt Liberty Bonds to projects outside Lower Manhattan. They fear that all the remaining bonds may be needed at the trade center site itself.

Mr. Silverstein, who relished the media spotlight during the first trial, has been largely quiet since the spring. But on Thursday, he will hold a "topping-out" ceremony for the 52-story skyscraper at 7 World Trade Center, which sits across Vesey Street from the site of the twin towers.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Johnnyboy
October 22nd, 2004, 08:44 AM
personally. no question about it, this was 1 event. Both attacks were part of an organized series of attacks to hurt the U.S.A. in many ways. When america was attacked in Pearl harbor, Whould we call the sinking of the Arizona 1 event seperated from the others attacks that took place around it? No. It was many attacks in 1 event just like 9/11. True, the attacks were a few minuts or hours apart from each other but, they were part of 1 operation making it 1 event. When we attacked Iraq, should we had called each buildings that were destroid by the bombs as many different events? No. Thats just my personal opinion.

ZippyTheChimp
October 22nd, 2004, 10:13 AM
The insurers are stating that the cause of both towers collapsing was the implimentation of an overall plan. What if that plan called for the 2nd plane to strike one month later? The argument should be just as valid, but is it? If it is not, then there has to be a point between 15 minutes and one month where the one event becomes two events.

If the 2nd plane had missed the target, would the collapse of the north tower have caused the south tower to collapse, or be irreparably damaged?

BrooklynRider
October 22nd, 2004, 05:51 PM
I know this is tangential to this topic, but...

I was just watching CNN. A commercial came on showing the collapse of 7WTC. It was a commercial for an initiative to investigate, what they call, "the professional demolition of 7WTC". I think the number they flashed to call was 1-888-investigate. The commercial used an aerial photo to show the collapsed WTC Site and had arrows pointint to the Verizon building and Fitterman Hall as "proof" that "something else" made 7WTC collapse. Truly bizarre. Anyone else see or hear about this?

ZippyTheChimp
October 22nd, 2004, 06:34 PM
There's a cottage industry on the conspiracies of 09/11. Much of it centers around a dim bulb in Texas (no, not that one) named Alex Jones. I think he has a talk-radio program. Just Google his name, with conspiracy, WTC, Pentagon, etc.

One famous source of "proof" that 7WTC was demolished is an audio tape of a conversation between Silverstein ans a FDNY official during efforts to put out fires in the building. One of the two states, "Let's pull it."

This was interpreted as let's blow up the building rather than a more reasonable let's get everybody out of there.

Same thing for the Pentagon. It wasn't a plane, it was a missle.

Some of it is pretty funny.

Jasonik
October 22nd, 2004, 06:45 PM
Here (http://www.prisonplanet.com/011904wtc7.html) is the site.

Johnnyboy
October 22nd, 2004, 08:33 PM
im a little confused. Are you all tryng to say that WTC 7 might had been let to collapsed intentionally by the owners of the property? If so, why would they want to do that? I never heard of this before and i am really confused.

TonyO
October 22nd, 2004, 08:58 PM
I've heard about those conspiracy theories. They are silly and always fail to give any real motive or evidence beyond sketchy sources. Why would they destroy part of the Pentagon? Why would they destroy WTC7 when they would probably get caught?

The whole issue of one event or two I think it relatively simple. By claiming there were two events, Silverstein's logic was that he deserved twice the insured value of the WTC site. This isn't logical in my opinion, and before I understood this "little" detail I was convinced it was 2 events.

If you were in a car accident and your car was hit twice by two different vehicles, you couldn't get twice the value of your car in return.

TLOZ Link5
October 22nd, 2004, 10:52 PM
Just to play Devil's Advocate, I'll say one word:

Reichstag.

ZippyTheChimp
October 23rd, 2004, 12:08 AM
The whole issue of one event or two I think it relatively simple. By claiming there were two events, Silverstein's logic was that he deserved twice the insured value of the WTC site. This isn't logical in my opinion, and before I understood this "little" detail I was convinced it was 2 events.

If you were in a car accident and your car was hit twice by two different vehicles, you couldn't get twice the value of your car in return.
I'll answer the 2nd part first.

Large property insurance is not generally written like an auto policy, where you pay a premium to insure replacemet. Insurance is bought to the amount to satisfy lenders.

Before they signed the lease with Silverstein, the Port Authority carried only $1.5 billion per occurence insurance on the WTC. Silverstein's lenders wanted him to obtain more insurance, finally agreeing on $3.5 billion.

Willis Group Holdings, the insurance broker who assembled carriers to provide coverage used their WilProp 2000 form, which contained a specific definition of occurence: "all losses or damage that are attributable directly or indirectly to one cause or to one series of similar causes."

The first trial only concerned whether or not the WilProp bound a number of the carriers. The jury said yes, so those carriers only made single payments.

The remaining carriers are bound by the Travellers form, where coverage is per-occurence. This trial will determine if the event was one or two occurrences. If the judgment is that it was two, then the carriers will have to make double payments as per the policies. There is nothing underhanded about this.

Kris
December 7th, 2004, 01:24 AM
December 7, 2004

Towers' Insurers Must Pay Double

By CHARLES V. BAGLI

A federal jury said yesterday that the destruction of the World Trade Center constituted two separate attacks, entitling the developer Larry A. Silverstein to collect up to $2.2 billion, or double the insurance coverage provided by nine insurers at the complex.

The jury's decision, which came at the end of 11 days of deliberation and represented a major development in the rebuilding effort, almost certainly ensures that the proposed $1.5 billion, 1,776-foot Freedom Tower will be constructed at the trade center site, although appeals are likely and it may be some time before all the insurance money is paid out. It also ensures that Mr. Silverstein, who leased the trade center only six weeks before it was destroyed, will remain in control of the rebuilding effort for some time.

Insurance experts predicted yesterday that the verdict would send ripples through the insurance industry, with premiums for property coverage almost guaranteed to rise substantially.

Mr. Silverstein, who plans to use the money to rebuild the trade center, issued a statement yesterday saying he was thrilled with the verdict. It will "ensure a timely and complete rebuild of the World Trade Center," he said, adding that the insurers "had an obligation to pay their fair share to help make Lower Manhattan whole again."

Mr. Silverstein has argued that because two jets slammed into two towers at the trade center on Sept. 11, he was entitled to a double payment of the $3.55 billion policy, or $7 billion. The jury's decision yesterday related to nine insurance companies, which provided $1.1 billion of the $3.55 billion worth of coverage. If the verdict stands, the nine companies will have to pay $2.2 billion.

It was Mr. Silverstein's first legal victory during the 38-month legal battle he has waged against two dozen insurers at the trade center. Last spring, a jury decided that Swiss Re and eight other insurers had provided coverage based on a policy devised by Mr. Silverstein's brokers. The court had already ruled that that policy entitled Mr. Silverstein to only a single payment. The developer also settled with five other insurers. That cut Mr. Silverstein's quest for $7 billion to a maximum of $4.65 billion, if he won the second trial.

The extra $1.1 billion is needed downtown, where officials estimate that it will cost more than $9 billion to rebuild the trade center, a complex that is owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and once included 10 million square feet of office space for investment banks and insurance companies, a retail mall, a hotel and a major rail station.

"It's a tremendous victory for Larry and for everyone else who has an interest in Lower Manhattan," said Kevin M. Rampe, president of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. "The funds are going to ensure that Lower Manhattan recovers in the amount of time we've laid out."

But just as Mr. Silverstein is appealing the verdict in the first trial, the nine insurance companies are expected to appeal the decision.

John Novaria, a spokesman for Industrial Risk Insurers, one of the nine companies involved in the verdict, said his company still believed that the attack on the trade center was "one occurrence." Asked whether Industrial Risk would file an appeal, he said the company was "examining its options."

In a separate element of the dispute, the final amount of insurance money is under review by a court-approved panel of three appraisers, who will determine the extent of the damages at the trade center and how much each company must pay.

Nevertheless, Robert D. Yaro, president of the Regional Plan Association, a private planning group, said that yesterday's decision ensures that the Freedom Tower, the first of four or five office towers planned for the site, will be built. But, Mr. Yaro said, the time has come for a public accounting.

"There needs to be a sorting out between Larry and the Port Authority about what needs to be built and who's going to pay for it," Mr. Yaro said.

Gov. George E. Pataki has promoted the Freedom Tower as a symbol of downtown rejuvenation. But some critics have questioned the wisdom of building a huge and costly skyscraper when there are no potential tenants in sight and the vacancy rate in Lower Manhattan is high. Some executives at the Port Authority say privately that the money would be better spent on an estimated $1.5 billion to bring the site up to grade as it is rebuilt to ground level, so that it is ready when the real estate market improves.

According to Newmark & Company Real Estate, the vacancy rate downtown climbed to 15.9 percent in November, and could hit a nine-year high this month with the introduction of 7 World Trade Center, an office tower Mr. Silverstein is building nearby.

So far, the insurance companies paid out $2.03 billion, and $1.55 billion has been spent. If yesterday's verdict survives the appeal process, that would leave about $4 billion for a reconstruction effort that might cost $9 billion. Mr. Silverstein's legal battles have cost an estimated $125 million, according to Port Authority commissioners.

Experts were already debating the effect of the verdict on the insurance industry. Robert P. Hartwig, chief economist for the Insurance Information Institute, a trade group, said he doubted there would be a larger precedent growing out of the case.

For example, the four recent hurricanes in Florida were treated by insurers as four occurrences because each was separated by a standard interval exceeding 72 hours, he said. If they had all struck within 72 hours, they would likely have been treated as one occurrence, he said.

Mr. Silverstein's lawyers succeeded in persuading jurors that there was some doubt about the definition of occurrence, Mr. Hartwig said, because all of the policies had not been fully negotiated.

Andy Barile, an insurance executive and litigation consultant based in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., said the decision would "dramatically change the industry."

Agents, reinsurers and consumers will have to scrutinize their policies and some property owners may face premium increases when they renew their policies in January, he said, adding, "With companies being forced to pay out twice their policy limits, it's going to have a dramatic effect on increasing premiums."

David W. Dunlap and Anthony Ramirez contributed reporting for this article.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

MrShakespeare
December 7th, 2004, 12:05 PM
There is some additional information in this article that made it worth posting, in addition to the one above...


http://www.crainsny.com/news.cms?id=9424

December 07, 2004

WTC destruction was two occurrences: jury
by Douglas McLeod

World Trade Center leaseholder Silverstein Properties Inc. could collect $4.68 billion in insurance payments after the jury in the second phase of the WTC property insurance litigation decided that the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks should be treated as two insured events for nine of the program’s two dozen insurers.

The nine insurers involved in the second trial will now have to pay out double their combined coverage limits to Silverstein.

As deliberations entered their fourth week after a four-week trial, the jury returned verdicts in favor of Silverstein and against the nine insurers representing $1.13 billion of the WTC’s $3.55 billion insurance program. Fifteen other insurers representing the other $2.42 billion in coverage were previously found to be liable for only one occurrence in an initial phase of the litigation or in prior court rulings or settlements.
“I am thrilled by today’s victory,” Silverstein principal Larry Silverstein said in a statement. “I strongly felt, and the jury agreed, that the destruction of the Twin Towers by two separate airplanes at two separate times was two separate occurrences and that these insurers have an obligation to pay their fair share to help make Lower Manhattan whole again.”

Insurers found by the jury late Monday to be liable for two occurrences are: Allianz AG Holding of Germany; the Industrial Risk Insurers unit of GE Insurance Solutions; the Travelers Indemnity Co. unit of St. Paul Travelers Cos.; the Royal Specialty Underwriting Inc. unit of Royal & SunAlliance Insurance Group Plc; Gulf Insurance Co., a Travelers affiliate; Zurich American Insurance Co.; TIG Insurance Co.; the Twin City Insurance Co. unit of Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.; and Tokio Marine & Fire Insurance Co.

Insurers with the largest exposure are: Allianz, which wrote $354.7 million in limits as a fronting insurer for SCOR SA of Paris and $77.9 million on a direct basis; IRI, which wrote $237.2 million; Travelers, which wrote $210.6 million; and Royal, which wrote $127.8 million.

The dispute arose from the fact that no final policy for the WTC had been agreed to at the time of the terrorist attacks. The nine insurers in the second phase of the litigation issued policies or binders with varying definitions of occurrence or, in Travelers’ case, no definition at all.

Silverstein’s lawyers argued during the trial that each aircraft striking each of the WTC’s towers constituted a separate “direct physical loss” and, therefore, a separate occurrence under the program, which carried a $1 million per occurrence deductible. Insurers argued that they intended the terms of their coverage to mirror those in a policy form used during the placement process by Silverstein’s broker, Willis Group Holdings Ltd. The Willis form, known as Wilprop, had been ruled to treat the WTC attack as one occurrence.

IRI noted in a statement after the verdict that “the jury disagreed with our view, and we believe the evidence was to the contrary. We will examine our options.”

Jury verdicts in the first phase of the case, decided last March and April, have been appealed to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, but appellate action has been stayed. Any appeals of today’s verdicts are expected to be joined with those already pending.

TonyO
December 7th, 2004, 01:06 PM
The Brian Leher show on WNYC just had Charles Bagli from the NYTimes on talking about the WTC insurance verdict. He said a couple interesting things:
- Silverstein has been paid back his entire investment over the past 36 months.
- The decision is not guaranteed to have a shockwave on building insurance costs, although another attack in NYC would mean all bets are off. Bagli got mixed reactions from insurance industry veterans.

Ninjahedge
December 7th, 2004, 01:37 PM
I got the same in-office:

Update 1: Jury Considers WTC Destruction 2 Events
12.06.2004, 05:43 PM

A federal jury decided Monday that the destruction of the World Trade Center was two events for insurance purposes, meaning leaseholder Larry Silverstein can collect twice from companies because separate planes hit two towers.

The verdict in U.S. District Court in Manhattan was the latest twist in Silverstein's efforts to turn his $3.5 billion insurance policy on the trade center complex into a $7 billion payout.

The jury was asked to rule specifically whether the terrorism could be considered one or two events for nine of the trade center's 24 insurance companies.

Regardless of the insurance payout, Silverstein and redevelopment officials have promised to rebuild the trade center complex in the next decade, including 10 million square feet of office space, a memorial and cultural buildings.

The insurance companies involved in the case were: Travelers Indemnity Co., Industrial Risk Insurers, Royal Indemnity Co., Allianz Insurance Co., Tokio Marine and Fire Insurance Co., Twin City Fire Insurance Co., Tig Insurance Co., Westfield WTC LLC and Zurich American Insurance Co.

In her closing argument, lawyer Carolyn H. Williams argued on behalf of the companies that the hijacked planes were like guided missiles and that the insurance payout should not depend on whether terrorists used "one or two or 10 or 100 weapons."

On behalf of Silverstein, attorney Bernard Nussbaum said there was precedent in the insurance industry to find the terrorism was two events. A California case concluded that four separate insurance events occurred when an arsonist set four separate fires, including two six minutes apart in courthouses 200 yards apart.

ZippyTheChimp
December 7th, 2004, 01:57 PM
- Silverstein has been paid back his entire investment over the past 36 months.
Was this further explained?

I suppose his investment was the money that the consortium put up initially to secure the lease. Are they including the $120 million per year rent he has been paying to keep the lease?

How was he paid? I thought that insurance proceeds had to go toward replacing the buildings.

Eugenius
December 7th, 2004, 02:55 PM
The insurance proceeds have been used for a number of purposes, including paying lawyers, paying architects, and paying the lease rents.

Silverstein never had to go out of pocket to pay any of these. His financial exposure is negligible.

ZippyTheChimp
December 7th, 2004, 03:25 PM
That still leaves him with the financial responsibility to replace the buildings. Any insurance money he uses for other purposes leaves him that much less for construction.

That quote makes it appear that he is off the hook, but I see his financial exposure as anything but negligible. Even with the favorable ruling in the 2nd trial, there is a shortfall of insurance funds. He is going to have to rely on the Freedom Tower to obtain financing for the others - risky business.

TonyO
December 7th, 2004, 06:48 PM
- Silverstein has been paid back his entire investment over the past 36 months.
Was this further explained?

I suppose his investment was the money that the consortium put up initially to secure the lease. Are they including the $120 million per year rent he has been paying to keep the lease?

How was he paid? I thought that insurance proceeds had to go toward replacing the buildings.

The initial investment not-including rent. They didn't go past that in any detail.

ZippyTheChimp
December 7th, 2004, 08:24 PM
OK, thanks.

I wonder what the investment amount was. Can this be considered the unluckiest real estate deal in history?

TonyO
December 7th, 2004, 09:19 PM
OK, thanks.

I wonder what the investment amount was. Can this be considered the unluckiest real estate deal in history?

On second listen, he doesn't talk specifically about rent payments - so my err there. He says over the last 38 months Silverstein has gotten most of his money back. He specifically mentions $120M in original equity that and that he controls the lease. Here is the link, they talk about the finances 10 minutes into the show.

http://www.wnyc.org/stream/ram.py?file=/bl/bl120704d.ra

TonyO
December 7th, 2004, 11:51 PM
NYTimes
December 8, 2004

Developer at Ground Zero Has Twice the Capital, and Extra Clout

By DAVID W. DUNLAP

Five months after the granite cornerstone was laid for the Freedom Tower, the financial cornerstone for a second new World Trade Center tower was fashioned on Monday by the federal jury that decided that Larry A. Silverstein, the commercial leaseholder on the site, was entitled to collect up to $2.2 billion from nine insurers.

This is twice as much - $1.1 billion more - than the amount of coverage he carried for a single occurrence from the nine insurers. Mr. Silverstein's lawyers argued that the two airplane attacks on the twin towers on 9/11 were separate occurrences and, for the first time in his legal battle with his insurers, a jury agreed.

The total possible payout for Mr. Silverstein from all insurers is now $4.65 billion, still considerably less than the $7 billion he sought.

As to what an extra $1.1 billion would buy for the trade center and for Lower Manhattan, it might provide much of the financing Mr. Silverstein would need to undertake the second of five planned office buildings, Tower 2, at Vesey and Church Streets. It is envisioned as having about 65 stories and 2.2 million square feet of space.

By increasing the likelihood that Tower 2 will be constructed, both supporters and opponents of the project said yesterday, this $2.2 billion award - should it be upheld if appealed - would also increase the momentum for the overall commercial redevelopment and, in turn, might attract more private investment.

It could also quiet some of the behind-the-scenes talk about easing Mr. Silverstein, who is 73, out of the project, although critics say that this moment of financial reckoning provides the ideal opportunity for reassessing the entire commercial program.

To the extent that it helps Mr. Silverstein pay his share of the cost of the common underground infrastructure at the trade center site, including ramps and roadways and loading docks and an air-cooling plant, the award may also take some pressure off state officials to use public money for that project, which could cost $1.5 billion even before the first building reaches street level.

"It's helpful to know that Larry has some money he might be able to put in there," said Madelyn Wils, the chairwoman of Community Board 1 and a board member of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. "I think it also, frankly, in the long term, takes a little pressure off the idea of trying to do some residential on the site."

Richard T. Anderson, president of the New York Building Congress, an association of developers, contractors, architects and others in the construction and real estate business, said it was too early to tell what the impact would be on other investors.

"The market still looms out there," he said. "But won't the thing be viewed more favorably with an additional $1.1 billion than without it?"

Mr. Anderson added, "The point is, now the plan has much more apparent financing behind it, so you can see more of the light at the end of the tunnel."

Carl Weisbrod, the president of the Alliance for Downtown New York and a board member of the development corporation, said improved prospects for Tower 2 would enhance the attractiveness of the Freedom Tower and 7 World Trade Center, which Mr. Silverstein is also building, neither of which has tenants yet.

"It makes the buildings much more marketable to new tenants, who will not have to worry about being there alone," Mr. Weisbrod said. Also, he said, the cost of space in the new buildings ought to be somewhat less because they will be financed through insurance proceeds rather than a mix of equity and borrowing, which require higher rates of return.

"Clearly," Mr. Weisbrod said, "it strengthens both the downtown revitalization and probably Larry as well, although Silverstein was always moving forward here."

David Dyssegaard Kallick of the Fiscal Policy Institute, a critic of the redevelopment process, welcomed the jury's decision for a different reason.

"Finally, we can have a clear picture of what money is available for rebuilding," he said. "Now, what we need is a clear accounting of how much the different pieces of reconstruction will cost and what the market demand truly is."

He added: "This is a perfect moment to reconsider the program. The public has repeatedly said it wants less intensive commercial development on the site, and more public use. We should make an offer to Larry Silverstein, and buy him out of his lease. Then the program can be guided by public agencies, and for the greatest public purpose."

Another critic, Michael Sorkin, director of the graduate urban design program at City College, said he still harbored the distant hope that part of the site along Church Street - where Towers 2, 3 and 4 are planned - could become a civic gathering place. "I've always believed the riposte to terrorism is an excess of democracy," he said.

To the extent that the jury's decision enabled commercial development to go forward instead, Mr. Sorkin said, he was discouraged by Monday's news. "They will wind up constructing exactly what was there," he said. "After all this drama, what a pity."

Eli Attia, the architect of the Millenium Hilton across Church Street from the trade center site, criticized the underlying plan as having been driven all along by Mr. Silverstein's need to compensate for having underinsured the World Trade Center when he assumed the commercial leasehold in the summer of 2001.

"The question is not how much insurance money does or doesn't Larry Silverstein have," Mr. Attia said. "The real question is: Why should the people of this city, this country and the world be forced to remember 9/11 at ground zero with an inferior plan that is nothing but the architectural expression of Larry Silverstein's bad management?"

But Ms. Wils of the community board said the time for rethinking the plans had passed. "A billion-one is a billion-one," she said. "And I don't think anyone should ignore what a billion-one can buy on the site. To do Monday-morning quarterbacking on this is not helpful."

There is still the prospect of such re-examination should Mr. Silverstein lose the case on appeal. After all, as Mr. Anderson of the building congress noted, if the jury's decision can be thought of as a windfall for the redevelopment, the loss of the money would be consequential, too.

"All of a sudden, it's like someone announcing a billion-dollar building," Mr. Anderson said. "It's a big chunk of private investment. The concern is that if this is overturned, that's going to take a lot of wind out of it."

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2004/12/07/nyregion/20041207_towers.gif

TonyO
December 8th, 2004, 12:18 PM
NYObserver

$1.1 Billion Award Elates Silverstein, Stuns Downtown

by Blair Golson


Late on the afternoon of Dec. 7, an 11-person jury on the 21st floor of the Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Courthouse handed World Trade Center leaseholder Larry Silverstein a courtroom verdict that could add over $1 billion to his available rebuilding funds. And for a night at least, it seemed, the keys to the city.

Bernard Nussbaum, the head of Mr. Silverstein’s 20-strong legal team and former President Bill Clinton’s personal attorney during the Whitewater affair, was feeling it when he took his staff to the ultra-trendy Tribeca eatery Megu for several rounds of congratulatory drinks not far from the courtroom where the drama unfolded.

"The mood was both ecstatic and relieved at the same time," said Silverstein lawyer Eric Roth, of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen and Katz, who sipped gin-and-tonics throughout the toasting. "It had been a very hard-fought matter, and it wasn’t always fought according to the Marquis of Queensbury rules."

One of the legal-team members, Marc Wolinsky, called the developer on the phone to deliver the news.

"He was over the moon," Mr. Roth said about his client’s reaction.

Not long after, the 73-year-old Mr. Silverstein, turtle-like under his slicked-back hair and glasses, swanned through crowds at a benefit at Cipriani’s on 42nd Street, where New Jersey Senator Jon Corzine was one of the lesser lights.

This legal victory did something much bigger than just thwack Mr. Silverstein’s legal opposition: It made him the single most important person in the redevelopment of Ground Zero, the only man with the presumptive right to build and the only one with the private funds to do it.

And for a scion of one of New York’s great real-estate dynasties—who had pinned his legacy, before Sept. 11, on his purchase of the lease of the two iconic obelisks at the foot of Manhattan—that was no small victory.

Mr. Silverstein signed a 99-year lease on the World Trade Center six weeks before they were destroyed, and since then he has often said that his contract obliged him to rebuild a full 10 million square feet of office space on the site. But could he? Monday’s potential billion-dollar bounty may just prove the difference between being able to build only one tower on the site and being able to finance the five other buildings envisioned in the current master plan.

Architects like Lord Norman Foster, Jean Nouvel and Fumihiko Maki had already begun drawing for Mr. Silverstein—but then, architects are accustomed to designing to the size of a developer’s ego first, and his budget second.

One downtown business leader said that even Mr. Silverstein himself had grown skeptical about his chances to complete a full rebuilding of the site without a substantial insurance payout.

"Larry was the first to say that the prospects of his financing the project without the extra insurance proceeds were very thin, and conventional wisdom agreed with him," said Kathy Wylde, president of the Partnership for New York City, a leading business-advocacy group. "The design and infrastructure requirements for this site are considerably more ambitious than the original Twin Towers, and I think there were real questions—questions that Larry was the first to raise—as to his ability to deliver without additional insurance money."

Monday’s jury verdict will give Mr. Silverstein a great deal more breathing room in his negotiations with all the stakeholders at Ground Zero.

"This is a project we’ve always had confidence in," said Charles Gargano, chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation, which oversees the rebuilding process, "But the additional $1.1 billion is good news, and it obviously makes Larry’s position more secure in that regard."

For many on Mr. Silverstein’s legal team, it had been a grueling three-year battle against 24 of Mr. Silverstein’s insurers on the property—one that until Monday’s verdict had yielded a nearly uninterrupted string of legal defeats. But with the jury’s decision paving the way for Mr. Silverstein to collect a potential total of $4.6 billion in insurance payouts, the lawyers, paralegals and jury consultants who gathered round the boisterous bar at Megu finally had reason to exult.

At its nadir, the proceedings involved accusations that Mr. Silverstein was trying to exploit the Sept. 11 attacks for personal gain, and reached another nasty crescendo when the judge trying the case barred Mr. Silverstein from the courtroom for violating a gag order on public statements about the proceedings.

Mr. Nussbaum declined to comment beyond saying, "We were very pleased with the verdict."

For the past three years and three months, Mr. Silverstein has been arguing that the destruction of the World Trade Center constituted two separate attacks, obligating his 24 insurers to double their payout from $3.5 billion to $7 billion.

Earlier this year, he lost a trial against the majority of those insurers, but the most recent jury panel agreed with Mr. Silverstein’s two-occurrence argument, which makes nine of his insurers liable for up to $2.2 billion in payouts, or double the $1.1 billion they would have otherwise owed. An appeal by those nine insurers is likely, however, and Mr. Silverstein still has to go to an arbitration panel before a final amount is decided.

Estimates for the build-out of the commercial portions of the World Trade Center site—which includes five skyscrapers and a sea of underground infrastructure improvements—run anywhere from $9 billion to $12 billion.

And in the wake of Mr. Silverstein’s courtroom loss this spring against the majority of his insurers, when it appeared that he was going to have a maximum of $3.5 billion available for rebuilding, the developer’s future on the site began to seem shaky.

Word leaked out that his landlord, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, was drawing up contingency plans for what might happen if the developer was unable to keep up with his $10 million in monthly lease payments, in addition to his obligation to keep pace on the rebuilding effort.

This, in turn, encouraged critics of the rebuilding process, like Robert Yaro of the Regional Plan Association, to begin suggesting publicly that it was time to rethink the entire programming on the site, perhaps to include residential development at the expense of commercial.

But the advent of a potential additional $1.1 billion in Mr. Silverstein’s coffers insulates him from those attacks. To be sure, Mr. Silverstein now has enough to build the Freedom Tower, the first building planned for the site, and likely the next one as well. After that, he will likely proceed by trying to borrow against the equity in those two structures.

This is a strategy that Mr. Silverstein said he would employ even before Monday’s verdict, but one that looks significantly more likely to succeed with two buildings to borrow against, instead of just the Freedom Tower.

"Obviously, this strengthens his position in the overall redevelopment, in that it makes it less likely that those who would want to remove him from the site would be able to do so—because he’s got a significant amount of money," said an official familiar with the rebuilding effort. "It’s a significant change in circumstances from the day before the verdict."

The rebuilding official also denied the suggestion that Mr. Silverstein’s recent victory will require people like himself to recalculate the developer’s relative power and influence at Ground Zero.

"I don’t think this changes how people on the inside are dealing with Larry," said the official. "There were always people yipping from outside, saying we had to get rid of him, but that never got to the point where there were any plans to remove him. This only reinforces the status quo and increases the momentum in moving the project forward."

The official likewise dismissed speculation that Mr. Silverstein would attempt to use his expected windfall to build several smaller towers on the site, thus preventing other developers from muscling in on his territory.

"He signed numerous agreements, including his lease, to keep the 10 mil square feet on the site, so he’s locked into the buildings laid out in the site plan," the official said. "He can’t at this point decide to build a smaller building, because he can’t make up that building later on."

What remains to be seen is how much of that expected extra $1.1 billion Mr. Silverstein will have to use in underground infrastructure improvements, and how much he can spend on the towers. That issue was apparently not made crystal clear in his lease with the Port Authority, and a spokesman for the P.A. said that the two parties are negotiating that very issue right now.

Mr. Silverstein’s apparent legal victory notwithstanding, there are some who still feel that the relatively murky nature of the developer’s lease agreement with the P.A. should open the door to a reconsideration of the programmatic elements of the site.

Jeremy Soffin, a spokesman for the Regional Plan Association, charges that from the moment Mr. Silverstein embarked upon a rebuilding program that departed from a literal rebuilding of the original Twin Towers, it voided his obligation to rebuild 10 million square feet of space. Of course, because Mr. Silverstein’s lease has not been made public, such assertions are hard to verify.

"We’re not rebuilding the Twin Towers exactly as they were, so that immediately opens things up to an interpretation where you can take different positions on what his obligations are," said Mr. Soffin. "Do you build the exact same square footage, or should you take a fresh look at the market and see what makes sense from an urban-design standpoint?"

Mr. Soffin argues that there isn’t likely to be a demand for the millions of square feet in office space that Mr. Silverstein’s new towers will put on the market, especially given the fact that Mr. Silverstein’s No. 7 World Trade Center, a 52-story tower he is building just north of Ground Zero from separate insurance proceeds, will likely hit the market within two years. Neither of those buildings has any tenants signed yet, he points out. But Carl Weisbrod, president of the Downtown Alliance, a business-advocacy group, argues that the buildings will come online over a long enough period to absorb all the vacancy and more. Mr. Weisbrod also argues that each successive tower that Mr. Silverstein builds on the site will help to create the critical mass necessary to make the site succeed economically.

"As each building gets built, it strengthens the market for the next building," he said. "It makes it easier to get financing and helps create a sense of place."

Ms. Wylde of the Partnership for New York City, who said she is currently negotiating with an organization to become the Freedom Tower’s first private-sector tenant, said that she hopes the extra money will help Mr. Silverstein sweeten the pitch for his buildings.

"Assuming they end up with the extra money, hopefully that will help create the incentives necessary to attract tenants to these wonderful new buildings."

You may reach Blair Golson via email at: bgolson@observer.com.

ZippyTheChimp
December 8th, 2004, 12:26 PM
Silverstein should buy a nice gift for Childs - a pair of vision glasses.

JMGarcia
December 8th, 2004, 01:41 PM
Silverstein should buy a nice gift for Childs - a pair of vision glasses.

LOL! I'd be happy with some steel beams to replace those cables so he could make some real lattice.

NoyokA
December 8th, 2004, 02:15 PM
Truth is Child’s is the only one not looking through rose colored glasses. Every other player involved has expressed satisfaction with the Frankenstein Tower. Libeskind whose reason for being is to be philanthropic, see’s collaboration as a positive force, but why shouldn’t he be happy when he got the downsizing he wanted. Pataki is satisfied because he’s Libeskind’s cheerleader, but for an ulterior political motive. And lastly Silverstein puts on face because he’s happy with the height and in luring tenants.

The only one whose publicly dissatisfied with the Freedom Tower is Child’s who is eager to give it a more unified whole and a greater presence.

JMGarcia
December 8th, 2004, 06:32 PM
I've never quite seen replacing the slender wedge of cables on the top 276 feet of the building with a spire as downsizing. I mean its just a wedge of cables.

I still say it is the integration of the spire and the flat hat truss were the building falls aesthetically flat. The wedge of cables (antennas) of Childs original design was a more integrated topping off of the building but it unfortunately made the building look top heavy with more cabling than building. Neither option was perfect IMO.

NoyokA
December 8th, 2004, 08:39 PM
Two points:

Lattice has more of a presence that a spire.

The spire does not work with the design. Do the math, when you add a compromise on top of a compromise, there’s no way it’ll add up to a better whole.

JMGarcia
December 8th, 2004, 10:33 PM
My point is that, IMO, the spire, if fixed, works better with the design than Childs original wedge as it made the ratio of cables to building to great.

The original wedge design would've been much better if there was more building or less lattice.

And I disagree that the wedge has more presence than the spire. Each has a different kind of presence. For example, the spires on the ESB and Chrysler give them more presence IMO than if they reached the same height without the drama of their spires.

Now, if the wedge was solid rather than barely visible it woud be a different story.