Cantor Fitzgerald LP settled a lawsuit accusing American Airlines of failing to stop the hijacking of a plane that crashed into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, killing 658 of the firm’s employees.
U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein in Manhattan was told of the agreement at a hearing today, according to court records. Hellerstein scheduled a Jan. 13 hearing to consider approving the accord.
The settlement of the lawsuit, filed almost 10 years ago, comes four days after American’s parent, Fort Worth, Texas-based AMR Corp., completed a merger with US Airways Group Inc. to form American Airlines Group Inc.
The al-Qaeda terrorists flew the American Airlines jet into one of the twin towers and a United Airlines jet into the other, causing both buildings to burn and collapse. Two other planes were hijacked, one that hit the Pentagon near Washington and another that crashed in a field in Pennsylvania after passengers fought the terrorists. About 3,000 people died.
Cantor alleged American should have stopped five Islamic extremists who took over its Flight 11 from Logan International Airport in Boston and crashed it into the North Tower.
In its lawsuit filed in September 2004, the New York-based based global financial services firm sought $945 million. A 2011 ruling in the airline’s favor limited Cantor to seeking damages for business interruption and barred it from seeking damages for the deaths of its employees.
In a related negligence lawsuit, Hellerstein ruled in July that real estate developer Larry Silverstein, who leased the skyscrapers about two months before they were destroyed, can’t seek $3.5 billion from AMR or United Continental Holdings Inc. Silverstein had already collected $4.1 billion from insurers and can’t collect twice under New York law, the judge ruled.
Robert Hubbell, a spokesman for Cantor, declined to comment on the settlement because the matter is still active in court.
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