X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.


A federal jury made the rout of Larry Silverstein almost complete yesterday when it ruled for the largest insurer in the dispute over insurance payments for the World Trade Center.

Foiling Mr. Silverstein’s bid to collect double the $877.5 million in insurance admittedly owed by Swiss Re International Business Insurance Co., the jury found that Swiss Re was bound by language in a temporary policy, issued before Sept. 11, 2001, that limited the terror attacks on the twin towers to one occurrence.

The verdict came five days after Mr. Silverstein lost on the same question to several other insurance companies.

As with Swiss Re, the same jury found last week that those insurers were bound to the language of a temporary policy known as the WilProp — the policy language used by Mr. Silverstein’s insurance brokers during negotiations on coverage during the summer of 2001.

Mr. Silverstein has been fighting since September 2001 to win rulings that the attacks were two separate occurrences and that the $3.5 billion admittedly owed by the insurers should be doubled to $7 billion.

But last week’s verdict assured that $1.06 billion of the $3.5 billion would not be doubled and yesterday’s decision took that amount to almost $1.9 billion. The maximum amount that Mr. Silverstein could now recover, and he would have to defeat several insurance companies at a second trial to do it, is less than $5 billion.

Mr. Silverstein and lead attorney Herbert Wachtell of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz have argued that compensation for two occurrences is critical to the rebuilding at ground zero.

Yesterday, Mr. Wachtell proposed an August date for the second trial, where a jury will be asked to decide the meaning of the undefined, or ill-defined, word “occurrence” for several other insurance policies that were being negotiated when the towers were leveled.

Last week, Mr. Silverstein prevailed as to only three insurance companies who were found not bound by the WilProp form.

Those three companies, who admittedly owe $176 million, will be joined in the second trial by seven other companies who had already been determined were not bound by WilProp.

Yesterday’s win did not come easy for Swiss Re attorneys Barry Ostrager and Mary Kay Vyskocil of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, who learned last week that the jury had spent almost five full days debating the issue only as to Swiss Re. Both attorneys credited the case put on by Mr. Wachtell, who they called a “formidable” adversary.

Jacques DuBois, President of Swiss re American Holding Co., said his company had “held firm” in its belief that Mr. Silverstein had underinsured the property.

“Mr. Silverstein insured the World Trade Center as if it were a single house,” and knew “full well that the most he could recover” was $3.5 billion, said Mr. DuBois.

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.