Judge Denies Silverstein Motion, Sets Sept. Trial Date in WTC Dispute

June 4, 2002

U.S. District Court Judge John Martin Jr. ruled against Silverstein Properties’ motion for a summary judgment in its dispute with Swiss Re and 22 other insurers over the amount of coverage on the World Trade Center.

The dispute centers on whether the loss constitutes one “occurrence” – Swiss Re’s position, or two – Silverstein’s position, with around $3.6 billion riding on the decision. Under those circumstances Judge Martin ruled that the case should go to trial, as there was sufficient ambiguity surrounding the meaning of occurrence that both sides should present their evidence. He indicated that establishing the amount of the insurers’ liability took precendence over providing funds as soon as possible to begin rebuilding the WTC site.

He tentatively scheduled the case for trial in September, but the insurance companies have requested that the date be put off until January in order to provide more time for discovery. Judge Martin has not yet ruled on the request, but is expected to do so soon.

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