Wachtell secures major victory for Silverstein in World Trade Centre litigation

Lawyers for World Trade Centre leaseholder Larry Silverstein have secured a major victory over insurers after a jury ruled that the September 11 attacks constituted two separate occurrences for insurance purposes.

As reported yesterday by the New York Lawyer, (7 December), the verdict in this, the second insurance trial, will see Silverstein and the site’s owner, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, collect up to $2.2 billion from a group of nine insurers.

They would have been paid half that amount had the jury viewed the attack as a single incident.

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.

In that case, lead attorney, Herb Wachtell failed in his bid to show that the attacks on the World Trade Centre constituted two separate occurrences and that the $877.5m owed by Swiss Re under insurance policies should thus be doubled.