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World Trade Center insurance settlement reached

[JURIST] New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D) [official website] and State Insurance Superintendent Eric R. Dinallo announced [press release] Wednesday that Silverstein Properties [corporate website], which owns a 99-year lease of the World Trade Center [JURIST news archive] site, has settled all outstanding insurance claims with seven insurance companies at a price of $2 billion dollars. Silverstein agreed to yield its claim that the insurance companies owed $500 million in interest due to delays in payment, while the insurance companies yielded their claim that they would not need to make payments until a reconstruction program for the site was completed in 2012.

Federal suits filed in October 2001 determined that the most Silverstein could collect for losses sustained in the September 11 attacks would be $4.68 billion. Insurance companies have already paid about $2.55 billion, and the settlement resolved the remaining sum. Spitzer's office said that the settlement, which was the biggest obstacle to reconstruction at the World Trade Center site, "will save additional tens of millions in legal costs and allow the Port Authority and Silverstein Properties to focus on rebuilding at Ground Zero." Prior litigation has cost Silverstein and the insurance companies hundreds of millions of dollars. The New York Times has more.

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