- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 26, 2003

NEW YORK (AP) — The insurance companies that provided coverage for the Deutsche Bank headquarters building that was damaged during the September 11 terrorist attack accused the company of seeking an “inflated settlement.”

The court dispute involving the insurers Allianz and AXA, and Deutsche Bank stems from a conflict over how much damage was incurred when the World Trade Center’s twin towers collapsed.

But the bank filed suit insisting that the 40-story building could not be occupied again and asked the court to force the insurance companies to declare the building a total loss and pay the insurance value of $1.7 billion. Two other insurers on the building agreed earlier to pay a share of a $1 billion settlement.

The company wants to demolish the building and used the space as part of the redevelopment of ground zero. Officials with the city and with developers have already assumed that the Liberty Street parcel where the building stands would be involved in any rebuilding.

But Allianz officials wrote in court papers filed with the State Supreme Court in Manhattan on Monday that they and AXA felt the building could be rehabilitated and reoccupied, the New York Times reported yesterday.

According to the papers, Deutsche Bank “repeatedly mischaracterizes the nature of its dispute with [its insurers] in a cynical attempt to leverage the lingering image of Sept. 11 into more dollars from its insurers.”

But the bank responded in its own court filing, saying that the damage to the building “is of such magnitude and extent that the only reasonably feasible solution is to stabilize, surgically tear down, demolish and replace the building.”

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