September 11 Families Settle Negligence Suit

Wednesday, October 3rd 2007, 7:31 am
By: News On 6

BALTIMORE (AP) _ Five families who lost relatives in the 2001 terrorist attacks have settled their negligence lawsuit against American Airlines, Boeing Co. and a passenger screening company, a lawyer said.

The families refused money from the Victim Compensation Fund, which was created by Congress to protect airlines from a barrage of litigation, so they could pursue the lawsuit and highlight airport security failures.

The amount of the financial settlement is confidential, but ``substantial,'' Keith Franz, a lawyer who represents four Maryland families who lost relatives at the Pentagon, said Tuesday. ``The families feel completely vindicated by their decision.''

The settlement also includes two women who were injured at the Pentagon, and the relatives of a woman killed at the World Trade Center.

``I felt like I was being lumped with everyone else by going with the fund,'' said Christine K. Fisher, whose husband was killed in the Pentagon. ``We wanted answers that were not being provided.''

Franz, Fisher and relatives of another victim will conduct a news conference Wednesday at the National Press Club in Washington to announce the agreement.

Fisher and the others filed a lawsuit in 2003 charging American Airlines, Boeing and Argenbright Security Inc., a contractor responsible for screening passengers on the hijacked flights, with negligence.

U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein of the Southern District of New York must approve the settlement.