Mark Hamblett
New York Law Journal
March 25, 2013

American Airlines and other defendants sued in connection with the 9/11 terror attacks can claim the act of war defense to strict liability under a federal hazardous substance cleanup law, Southern District Judge Alvin Hellerstein (See Profile) ruled yesterday.

Hellerstein said in In re September 11 Litigation, 08 Civ. 9146 (AKH), that the exception to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) was another reason why the owners of a building one block south of the World Trade Center cannot recover for damages and the cleanup of pulverized dust created when the twin towers collapsed.

The judge had already ruled in 2010 that Cedar & Washington, the owner of the 12-story building at 130 Cedar St., could not recover under the act against the World Trade Center owner, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, corporations affiliated with trade center lessee Larry Silverstein, and American and United airlines.

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