- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 26, 2002

NEW YORK (AP) A federal judge sided with three insurers yesterday, saying the World Trade Center's leaseholder wasn't entitled to collect twice because the towers were hit by separate planes.
U.S. District Court Judge John S. Martin agreed that the wording in contracts with the Hartford Fire Insurance Co., Royal Indemnity Co., and St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co. allows them to consider the September 11 terrorism as a single occurrence.
The judge must still decide the issue for more than 17 other companies that insured the trade center's leaseholder, Silverstein Properties.
Gerald McKelvey, a spokesman for Silverstein Properties, noted that the three insurers together were responsible for only $112 million of coverage.
"Obviously, we disagree with the ruling and will consider an appeal at the appropriate time," he said.
Mr. Silverstein estimates its losses related to September 11 at $8.2 billion. The total includes $5.7 billion for the twin 110-story skyscrapers, retail property at the site and buildings 4 and 5, which were destroyed.
Swiss Reinsurance Ltd., the company responsible for 22 percent of the coverage under the trade center's multilayer policy, asserts that Mr. Silverstein cannot recover more than $3.5 billion of proceeds under that policy because it considers the terrorism one event.
In his ruling, Judge Martin said the wording of a legal document used in agreements with the three companies made it clear that the terrorism could be viewed as a single occurrence.
"The ordinary businessman would have no doubt that when two hijacked planes hit the twin towers in a 16-minute period, the total destruction of the World Trade Center resulted from one series of similar causes," Judge Martin wrote.


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