Larry Silverstein (World Trade Center Properties) is arguing in federal court that the airlines owe him billions of dollars in damage for their part in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The judge, U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein, heard opening arguments today (closing arguments are expected Wednesday).
Silverstein's lawsuit claims that Boeing owes him for designing the planes, that both Boston's Logon Airport and Portland Maine's Airport owes him for not catching the terrorists as they went though security, and that the airlines failed to protect both the passengers and property from the actions of the terrorists.
Or as I like to call this: An opportunity to collect large amounts from various companies for criminal actions done by other people.
Personally, isn't this what insurance is for? Silverstein has already collected more than four billion dollars from the insurance companies to rebuild the property. But he says that it has not been enough to cover the expenses of the rebuilding. The airlines are arguing that this whole mess smacks of him double-dipping; Silverstein disagrees.
(Oh, the judge has already ruled that the most Silverstein can get is 3.5 billion...I guess you can see why this is worth pursuing.)
But isn't this along the lines of suing a Quickie Mart for getting shot during a robbery there because they did not have armed security to stop a robber after collecting both insurance and government benefits?
The very nature of airplanes is that they are big flying bombs (and it was known in the 1980s [and perhaps before] that we were in danger if a terrorist decided to hijack one of them). The only way for Boeing and all other aircraft designers to make a perfectly safe plane that cannot be used as a weapon is for them not to make one in the first place (aka no air travel). The only way for there to be no possibility of hijackers getting onboard an airplane is to deny entry to everybody, including the crews (again no air travel). And the only way that the airlines have to completely protect passengers and property is to never actually have the planes take off from the ground (again no air travel).
Honestly, I do not want to see Silverstein win this lawsuit because legally the only way to prevent stuff like this is to return to the Dark Ages, and we all know how joyful the Dark Ages were. And if he wins, we can all expect to see more double-dipping lawsuits.