Jury rules that Port Authority was negligent in 1993 World Trade Center bombing | VailDaily.com

Jury rules that Port Authority was negligent in 1993 World Trade Center bombing

NEW YORK – A jury ruled Wednesday that the Port Authority was negligent in the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 – a long-awaited legal victory for victims of an attack that killed six people and wounded 1,000.The six-person jury ruled that the Port Authority, the agency that owned the World Trade Center, was negligent by not properly maintaining the parking garage, where terrorists detonated more than a half-ton of explosives in a Ryder van. It said the negligence was a “substantial factor” in the allowing the bombing to occur.The jury took just one day to reach its verdict. Several separate trials will now be held to determine money damages.The trial cast the spotlight on an attack that was overshadowed after Sept. 11, but was horrific nonetheless. The noontime blast blew a gigantic crater in the garage, filled the building with smoke, wrecked the towers’ power and emergency systems, and spread fear across New York.The verdict came after almost 12 years of legal delays in the civil case. The Port Authority’s last appeal, to try to get the case thrown out, was rejected last year, clearing the way for the trial.During the trial, lead plaintiff lawyer David J. Dean argued the Port Authority failed to take steps to prevent the bombing because it was inconvenient and would have cost too much. Dean said that the Port Authority’s own security officials, in a report released in 1985, warned that the 400-slot garage was a likely attack site.”It was almost as though they had a crystal ball,” he said.But Port Authority lawyer Marc Kasowitz said it was “offensive” to suggest the agency chose profits over safety. He said 3,000 of the Port Authority’s own employees, which the agency considered “family,” worked at the site in 1993.And he said that nothing would have deterred resourceful terrorists – obsessed with bombing a building that was an icon of capitalism – from finding a way to unleash an attack.”The plaintiffs want to blame the Port Authority for the murderous acts of fanatical terrorists who schemed for years and traveled thousands of miles” to carry out the attack, Kasowitz told the jury.Vail, Colorado

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