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World Trade Center owner tries to sue airlines for billions over 9/11 attacks

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World Trade Center collapses during 9/11 attacks

NEW YORK (PIX11) – World Trade Center owner and real estate magnate Larry Silverstein is trying to sue several airlines over the 9/11 terror attacks that destroyed the towers, according to published reports.  Silverstein wants to collect $3.5 billion in damages from United Airlines, US Airways Inc., Colgan Air Inc., American Airlines Inc. and the Massachusetts Port Authority, among others.

U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein is currently listening to arguments and witnesses during a 3-day, non-jury trial that started Monday.  He will have to decide whether or not to allow Silverstein, World Trade Center Properties and its affiliates to sue for more than the $4.9 billion in insurance that they’ve already received, according to the Associated Press.

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The trade center owners maintain the cost of replacing the two towers destroyed in the attack, as well as the third trade center building that fell, reached $8 billion.  Hellerstein has already said that, even if allowed, the lawsuit would have a ceiling of $3.5 billion.

After a bidding war with Vornado realty, Silverstein leased the building in 2001 — just six weeks before the planes slammed into the two towers on September 11.