United Airlines Not Liable for 9/11 Tower Collapse
Owner of 7 World Trade Center had sued over alleged security breach
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Nov 21, 2012 11:40 AM CST
Smoke billows from the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York after planes crashed into each tower in this Sept. 11, 2001 file photo.   (AP Photo/Gene Boyars)

(Newser) – United Airlines is not responsible for the damage done to 7 World Trade Center in the 9/11 attacks, a federal judge ruled today, dismissing a lawsuit from the leaseholder of the property. Larry Silverstein had alleged that lapses in United's security allowed terrorists to board a plane at a Maine airport and ultimately take over the American Airlines plane that crashed into one of the towers, whose collapse in turn caused Tower 7 to fall, Reuters reports.

The hijackers originally boarded a US Airways flight in Portland, Maine, before transferring to the American plane in Boston, and United helps run Portland's lone security checkpoint. As such, Silverstein argued that United was legally responsible for screening fliers and didn't seize a "clear chance" to stop the hijacking. Judge Alvin Hellerstein had sounded skeptical of the suit from early on in questioning, Reuters reported last month, saying ruling against United would be "inconsistent" with previous rulings absolving other airlines of blame for the events of the day. In his ruling, he said United could not have foreseen the long chain of events that culminated in the building's collapse.

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Showing 3 of 46 comments
backpath2
Nov 23, 2012 6:32 AM CST
As with the Kennedy killings, the events of 9/11 will always be subject to speculation and controversy. I have read that the Twin Towers were built using a technique which depends on the skin for much of the buildings' structural strength -- rather like the exoskeleton of an insect. If true, this would help explain the collapse of towers one and two. Many years ago, the Empire State building was hit by a four engine bomber. There was damage to the impact area, but not to the building as a whole. Perhaps its time to return to more traditional methods of skyscraper construction.
midget_farmers
Nov 22, 2012 9:41 PM CST
maybe the owner of building number 7 should sue the people who built that inferior building... as it only caught fire and still came down as if by magic in a perfectly controlled manner. almost like watching a controlled demolition! Seriously if I didn't know better I would think that was odd but the news told me exactly what happened and while it really don't make sense that a building could catch fire and collapse like that, I am sure our government or media wouldn't lie to us. What on earth would they have to gain by misleading us?
Comp_User
Nov 22, 2012 2:24 PM CST
Why are they not going after who ever set the demolition charges in building 7. The media and the government are doing a good job in covering up what ever happened on 9/11.