Terror victim's husband sues American Airlines

 
Old Apr 8, 02, 11:28 pm
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Terror victim's husband sues American Airlines

http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/bus...00/1917743.stm
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Old Apr 8, 02, 11:58 pm
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Wife saw the news on a different medium and informed me. We lived in NYC area years ago. Wife had multiple friends and relatives who perished at WTC-1. I had a paramedic friend who perished at WTC-2. Wife's relatives were with Cantor Fitzgerald. I believe the woman who perished was from Fred Alger.

I have mixed emotions about these kind of lawsuits. Obiously, they don't bring anybody back. If they can deter future misbehavior or compensate obvious wrongs, I suppose that is OK. The problem with lawsuits, in general, is there has to be "liability" or "blame" to be proven. Whom do you "blame" here. Osama might make most people's list. Have they named him?

Wife and I have been back to NYC numerous times since then and have helped with posters on Vesey, West St and others in TriBeCA. The families of our lost friends have never talked of suing, and I don't know anyone with a lawyer. It was said that this victim was a "high earner".

No special comment. AA has the insurance and the deep pocket. In America, you sue where the money is. Personally, I don't see where AA and UA are specifcally to "blame".

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Old Apr 9, 02, 12:00 am
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That's the sad story about USA these days. If you're not happy about something, and want to blame on someone... SUE.

So that's what it comes down to isn't it?

MONEY. So much for marraige vows.
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Old Apr 9, 02, 12:38 am
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It was an act of war. How can you sue someone in court for failing to prevent an act of war ?
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Old Apr 9, 02, 1:47 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by verhalen:
How can you sue someone in court for failing to prevent an act of war ?</font>
How? You can sue for pretty much anything in the US. That's one of the key features of our legal system. It's up to the courts to decide whether your case has any merit.

As for the "act of war" bit, I fail to see how this is legally relevant.

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Old Apr 9, 02, 3:55 am
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Article says they're going after them for the weapons getting through security.

Unless they have some new evidence, I think they're going after the wrong parties.

Wouldn't it have been illegal (okay probably not, atleast grounds for a lawsuit, and against DOT policy) if the security screeners would've confiscated the box cutters ? (As they were allowed by DOT guidelines)
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Old Apr 9, 02, 7:54 am
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I think the main problem that caused the husband of the portfolio manager who died to sue is the structure of the victims' compensation fund. It penalizes victims who planned well and had plenty of insurance by reducing any claims payable for these people to zero.

This is not to say that the overall idea of compensating terror victims is misplaced, but the government should suplement people's insurance policies and not subvert them. The current policy would seem to introduce significant moral hazard problems.
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Old Apr 9, 02, 8:59 am
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The victims compensation fund is a form of charity. It's not an entitlement nor is it some kind of mandatory payment. Citizens are NOT entitled to government compensation for either acts of war or acts of terrorism.

So as acts of charity, I find it quite justifiable that those who already have means [ie larger insurance settlements] get less charity.
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Old Apr 9, 02, 1:46 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by EchoVictor:
I think the main problem that caused the husband of the portfolio manager who died to sue is the structure of the victims' compensation fund. It penalizes victims who planned well and had plenty of insurance by reducing any claims payable for these people to zero.</font>
Then why is she suing AA for punitive damages?

Also, what would be the legal requirements for proving negligence, reckless endangerment, etc.? Will there ever be any real "proof" that the hijackers actually had weapons? It seems pretty circumstantial to me - what burden of proof would the courts require? Barring the weapons, how else could you claim negligence, etc.???
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Old Apr 9, 02, 1:52 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">The husband of one of the 11 September victims who died inside her World Trade Center office has sued American Airlines for more than $50m (34.84m) in compensatory damages.</font>


So, this guy is putting a value on his wife's life? Is $50m all she was worth to him?
(please note my cynical tone.....)
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Old Apr 9, 02, 5:31 pm
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Act of War? No. Act of Terrorism, yes. Since 11 Sept we have been at war with no nation. The president does not have the authority to declare war, only Congress may do so. We are waging a "war on terrorism" but that's just semantics. We are also waging a "war on (some) drugs"...

<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by verhalen:
It was an act of war. How can you sue someone in court for failing to prevent an act of war ?</font>


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Old Apr 9, 02, 6:19 pm
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Warning: I do not personally believe the following theory should carry the day and result in any verdicts against AA or UA

If it were my case (and I was hourly, not contingent) I might be tempted to try this theory:

AA (and, of course, UA) breached their duty owed to the passengers and all on the ground to keep intruders off the flight deck. Had the crews not opened the doors (or had they used the crash axes to resist the bad guys), September 11 might have had a very different ending.

Yeah, yeah, I know, nobody could possibly forsee the tragic events of that day. All airlines subscribed to the "give hijackers whatever they want" school of thought. Still, I think it beats any theory predicated on "weapons," as the alleged knives/boxcutters/plastic blades (whatever) need not have been the cause of the cockpit takeovers.

Knives didn't fly those planes into buildings, nor did any boxcutters cut the doors down. The cause of the tragedies (but maybe one for which AA or UA should face no legal liability) is the simple fact that bad people were allowed to fly the planes. Either because the crews opened the doors and let them in or because the bad people broke the doors down.

Of course, the theory above probably isn't very popular - especially with the morons in charge of airport/airplane security.

Instead, those incompetent officials have villified everything sharp and pointy and will eventually convince a majority of Americans that it was the "bad" pocketknife that is to blame, not shortsightedness on the part of the airlines and everyone in charge of preventing September 11 from happening in the first place.

They immediately laid the blame at the feet of the x-ray and metal detector operators, on the absence of ID checking at every step of the way, on close-in parking spaces, on nearly everything sharp and pointy, (and for the first few days) on curbside checkin, etc.

As is common in America, officials will never admit that their shortcomings contributed more to September 11 than all the factors in the above paragraph put together. It's just not the American way to admit failure, especially when everyone owns a shredder.

Why fall on your sword when you can shred all the pertinent documents, lie through your teeth if ever questioned, and impose ridiculous new security procedures on every American who uses commercial airlines??

Oh, and mail confirmation of visa approval for some of the foreigners who six months earlier crashed 767s into the WTC and a 757 into the Pentagon.
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Old Apr 10, 02, 2:47 am
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How much did the victims' families receive from the US Government fund for the terrorist attack on the *Federal* building in Oklahoma City? I honestly don't remember such a fund and that was a federal government building. But I could be mistaken. Plato90s said it quite well.
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Old Apr 10, 02, 11:20 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Guy Betsy:
That's the sad story about USA these days. If you're not happy about something, and want to blame on someone... SUE.</font>
Is litigation a sad story? The right to due process is cherished by many Americans. The murder of a spouse certainly warrants some kind of action.

As for this being confined to the US: I suspect that over time, other countries will become just as litigious. Litigation tends to increase in parallel to income.

I do support some encouragement toward fewer frivolous suits: loser pays, for example. But in this case, I can certainly understand that a court should review what happened.
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Old Apr 10, 02, 1:03 pm
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This morning on the Today show, the lawyer for the husband was on. He figures this will become a class-action suit as he has talked with over 5 other families as well.

My concern is that if all the families that were affected by this horrific tragedy try to profit off of it (which is my personal feelings only), the airline prices will rise and/or United and AA will both be bankrupt.
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