More Families Settle Out of Court for 9/11 Victims

Wrongful Death

Fourteen more families of people killed in hijacked planes on September 11, 2001, settled their lawsuits against the airlines. Just one week before the first trial was scheduled to begin, the families received undisclosed settlements.

The settlements follow hard upon the families’ victory in United States District Court in Manhattan that would have allowed them to play cockpit recordings from United Airlines Flight 93. The judge’s ruling made settlement talks move very quickly, according to the plaintiffs’ lawyer. He said that once it became clear that jurors would hear evidence that the passengers were aware the plane had been hijacked and had reacted heroically, the airlines moved to settle.

The emotional impact on the jury would have been great, and though it would not necessarily have helped establish the airlines’ culpability, it could not help but move the jury to sympathy with the plaintiffs.

It seems the families’ motives for filing the suits were purely monetary. Although they were offered compensation from a federal Victims Compensation Fund, they chose to forego that compensation, arguing that the fund did not adequately compensate certain classes of people, such as children, retired persons, and very high wage earners. Although settlement amounts are confidential, the families said they felt adequately compensated for their decision to sue.

There are still 21 cases pending related to people killed or wounded on September 11. They include one passenger on Flight 93; 15 cases involving American Airlines Flight 77, which hit the Pentagon, including four deaths and four injuries of people in the Pentagon, and seven passengers on the plane; three passengers on American Airlines Flight 11, and two passengers killed on United Airlines Flight 175.

Settlements such as this are bittersweet. On the one hand, the families felt satisfied that their motivations “from compensation to accountability, to answers” had been fulfilled. On the other hand, however, the possibility that more information might be discovered to determine the true culpability, which must extend beyond the airlines to many involved parties, must forever go unexplored.

If you or a loved one has suffered injury or death from an aviation accident, litigation may be your only route to receive not just compensation, but truth as well. Contact today to get in touch with a lawyer who can get you compensation and accountability for the accident.