WTC attack deemed to be two events

Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz last week secured a major victory over the World Trade Centre’s insurers after a jury ruled that the 11 September attacks constituted two separate occurrences for insurance purposes.

The jury handed down its verdict in this, the second insurance trial, last Monday (6 December) after 11 days of deliberation. It was the first trial in which jurors were asked to decide whether the 11 September attacks could be considered as two separate occurrences for the purposes of insurance.

The case involves the nine insurance carriers not bound by the WilProp form, a standard contract in the insurance industry. These account for $1.1bn (£570m) of the total insurance package and include Travelers Indemnity, Allianz and Zurich American.

The ruling may see leaseholder Larry Silverstein, the site’s owner the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and retail leaseholder Westfield collect double that amount.

The result is a triumph for Silverstein’s lawyers, led by Bernard Nussbaum of Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, following defeat in the first insurance case against a separate group of insurers, including Swiss Re. All three insureds are appealing that first case.

Latham & Watkins is also celebrating after inheriting the case for Westfield, which came about due to the hire of former Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw insurance litigation star Peter Rosen in July.

The exact recovery will be decided at a series of appraisal hearings.