Terrorists only 32% Guilty of WTC '93 Attack

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Terrorists only 32% Guilty of WTC '93 Attack

Postby MikeK » Thu Oct 27, 2005 1:02 pm

Please stop the world, I need to get off. 8O

Port Authority found negligent in '93 WTC bombing
BY KAREN FREIFELD
STAFF WRITER

October 27, 2005

A jury Wednesday found the Port Authority negligent in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center -- a long-awaited victory for victims of the terrorist attack that killed six people and injured more than 1,000 eight years before the Sept. 11 attack destroyed the buildings.

The six-person jury in State Supreme Court in Manhattan found the Port Authority, the agency that owned the trade center, liable for not heeding the warnings of its security consultants about the dangers of such an attack in the public parking garage.

The jury, which was asked to determine fault, found the authority 68 percent responsible for the attack, and assigned the terrorists 32 percent responsibility.

A lawyer for the authority called the verdict "egregiously incorrect" and said the agency planned to appeal.

"The Feb. 26, 1993 attack on the World Trade Center was an act of terrorists, for which terrorists alone are responsible," Marc Kasowitz said.

Around noon on Feb. 26, 1993, a bomb hidden in a Ryder van equal to 1,500 pounds of dynamite blew up in the basement garage. The explosion blew a crater in the garage, shook the towers and sent smoke through the complex. In 1994, Muslim extremists were convicted in the plot and two more later that decade. But legal delays held up the civil case for more than a decade.

Jury foreman Alan Nelson, 54, of Washington Heights, said after the verdict that the jury found the authority negligent because the agency's own reports commissioned in the 1980s had warned of garage's vulnerability to a terrorist car bombs, and that the agency then dropped the ball.

"You simply had to look at the series of reports in the 1980s seeing at least a danger of car bombings and so on," Nelson said. "The Port Authority, at one time, had a proactive, energized leadership and it just didn't seem it continued. And that weighed heavily on us."

The foreman singled out Peter Goldmark, the authority's executive director from 1977 to 1985, as being proactive, pointing out that he even traveled to Scotland Yard to investigate the problem of terrorism.

"The big tragedy is Peter Goldmark left about the time the report came out," Nelson said. "It was a missed chance and things sort of fell into the bureaucratic tunnel."

Asked how the jurors came up with the 68 percent fault figure against the authority, juror Shana Marks-Odinga, 34, of Yorkville, said it was simple math. "Each of the jurors gave a percentage. Out of fairness, we had to divide by six."

All six jurors agreed that the authority's negligence was a "substantial factor" in permitting the bombing to occur, but they could not agree on whether it agency acted with "reckless disregard." Two jurors voted yes, while four voted no.

David Dean, lead lawyer for the plaintiffs, said the fact that the jury found the authority more than 50 percent liable meant "every victim who sues will be able to get 100 percent of the damages."

The more than 400 cases consolidated for the liability trial will now be separated to determine damages.

Saying there were strong grounds for appeal, the authority's Kasowitz placed blame squarely on the terrorists.

"To hold the Port Authority twice as liable as these terrorists for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing stands logic, rationality and reason on its head," he said.

But Dean said the case was never about the terrorists.

Copyright 2005 Newsday Inc.
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Postby Guest » Thu Oct 27, 2005 1:04 pm

HAH HAH! Mike, that cartoon kills me!
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Postby MikeK » Thu Oct 27, 2005 1:13 pm

I love the phrases "Inappropriate use of circus imagery" and "cocktail abuse".
I've decided to look at the world as one big circus to see if I can get a few chuckles out of it. So far it's working.
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Postby Bill Glasheen » Thu Oct 27, 2005 3:45 pm

David Dean, lead lawyer for the plaintiffs, said the fact that the jury found the authority more than 50 percent liable meant "every victim who sues will be able to get 100 percent of the damages."

This is the math of ambulance chasers, Mike, also known as Sutton's law. The right answer is any "math" that results in their pockets being lined. The right guilty party is wherever money can be found.

I don't think you'll find that in any textbook on accounting.

This has absolutely nothing to do with terrorism or victims.

- Bill
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Postby Gene DeMambro » Thu Oct 27, 2005 4:09 pm

It might be the math of ambulance chasers, but it's also the math of many states' tort laws.

Gene
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Postby Bill Glasheen » Thu Oct 27, 2005 4:19 pm

...which was written by an industry bent on protecting their cash cows. It doesn't make it right. There used be laws that allowed you to beat your wife and slaves.

Don't get us started, Gene...

- Bill
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Postby MikeK » Thu Oct 27, 2005 4:55 pm

Bill, You know that I'm a little more street aware than the average guy, but it drives me nuts that these people are giving the terrorists a pass and blaming the Port Authority just so they can get some revenge on somebody, anybody. And so some Esq can make a tidy sum of cash also. I take precautions to safe-guard my home but if someone finds a chink in my armor and gets in, he's still the bad guy, the one who should get the blame and the one who should be punished.
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Postby Bill Glasheen » Thu Oct 27, 2005 5:54 pm

You are preaching to the choir, Mike.

And you are talking to someone who uses math for a living. To me, this is like watching someone do a kata so badly that you want to stop them and ask them what the hell they are doing. :lol:

- Bill
Last edited by Bill Glasheen on Thu Oct 27, 2005 5:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby MikeK » Thu Oct 27, 2005 5:56 pm

Yeah, I know. :lol:
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Postby ljr » Thu Oct 27, 2005 7:46 pm

David Dean, lead lawyer for the plaintiffs, said the fact that the jury found the authority more than 50 percent liable meant "every victim who sues will be able to get 100 percent of the damages."


I can understand them being a bit at fault for not following the security recommendations... but more than 50%? that is like me being at fault for a robbery because I left my door unlocked. Or at fault because I left the keys in the ignition....

cheers,
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