$2 Billion Settlement for WTC Victim Claims
Government officials announced today that Silverstein Properties and seven insurance companies have reached a $2 billion settlement of all outstanding insurance claims arising from the destruction of the World Trade Center. The agreement, the largest in regulatory history, ends almost six years of legal battling and removes the last major obstacle to development at Ground Zero.
With these insurance claims resolved, Silverstein Properties and the Port Authority can now obtain the necessary financing and meet the aggressive construction schedule that all agreed was essential for the rebuilding of Ground Zero. This agreement, negotiated by the Insurance Superintendent and the Governor, reflects the Spitzer Administration’s commitment to World Trade Center redevelopment as a top priority, and will ensure that all parties have the necessary resources available to make the World Trade Center a symbol of New York’s global commercial leadership.
Silverstein Properties, Inc. leased the World Trade Center from the Port Authority in July 2001. When the planes destroyed the twin towers on September 11, insurance policies for the Trade Center had not been finalized. Suits were filed in October 2001 to resolve disputes over how much the insurance companies owed. The courts eventually determined that the most Silverstein Properties could collect was $4.68 billion. Until now, the insurance companies have paid about half of that total, leaving the remaining sum in dispute.
Beginning in late March, Superintendent Dinallo held dozens of meetings with Silverstein Properties and the insurance companies. This month, when several outstanding issues remained unresolved, Governor Spitzer became personally engaged in the negotiations.