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World Trade Center Owner Cannot Demand Billions From Airlines Over 9/11

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 13:  General view of One World Trade Center aka 1 WTC surrounded by buildings on May 13, 2013 in New York City.  (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

Real estate developer Larry Silverstein and World Trade Center Properties' nearly decade-long quest to recover more money for the 9/11 attack appears to be coming to an end. In a four-day trial this week, a federal judge ruled that the World Trade Center owners cannot file a lawsuit against United Airlines and American Airlines, according to The Wall Street Journal. Silverstein claims that the two airlines were negligent in allowing the hijackers to board their planes, and sought at least $3.5 billion in damages — on top of the $4.1 billion already collected from the property's insurers.

The court didn't address the thorny questions about the airlines' culpability, but rejected the suit because Silverstein "would not be able to recover anything," since collecting twice for the same loss is illegal in New York. The owners said the money would have gone toward reconstruction, which has already cost more than $8 billion. Silverstein vowed to appeal, saying, "We will not rest until we have exhausted every option to insure that the aviation industry’s insurers pay their fair share toward the complete rebuilding of the World Trade Center."

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Photo: Michael Loccisano/2013 Getty Images