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Thread: WTC Collapse: One Event or Two?

  1. #61


    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.

  2. #62


    New York Post
    May 1, 2004

    Realty Check


    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.

  3. #63


    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?

  4. #64


    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.

  5. #65


    This is a heavy blow. This sucks.

  6. #66
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    New York City


    So, what does this mean for the future?

  7. #67


    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.

  8. #68


    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):

  9. #69


    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.

  10. #70


    May 4, 2004

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


    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

  11. #71


    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

  12. #72
    Senior Member Bob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Fairfax, VA


    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.

  13. #73


    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.

  14. #74


    New York Times
    October 19, 2004

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


    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

  15. #75


    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.

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