Canadian Underwriter

Insurers sue terrorists, supporters over 9/11 claims

September 11, 2003   by Canadian Underwriter

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The day before the second anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, insurers announced they would band together to sue organizations, individuals and countries who support terrorists, to recoup losses from the 9/11 events.
September 11, 2001 remains the largest insured loss in history, and U.S. insurers are on the hook for at least US$9.3 billion of the loss. Now insurers are launching a suit for US$300 billion in New York and Washington. This figure includes US$3.5 billion in property damage and US$500 million in workers’ compensation claims already paid, as well as damages from 412 wrongful death and personal injury claims. Reserves for potential future claims as a result of the event, for which many lawsuits are still ongoing, are included.
Five large insurance groups are leading the way, including Fairfax’s Crum & Foster, Chubb, American Re, and Zurich American, representing dozens of insurers.
The suit names al Qaida, Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, as well as countries including Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Iran, Iraq and Syria. Causes of action come under various statutes including the Anti-terrorism Act and the Torture Victim Protection Act, as well as RICO.
Lawyer Stephen A. Cozer, who is representing the insurers, says the suit is part of the war against terrorism. “As President [George W.] Bush has stated, we much close down these terrorist operatives by attacking them from all angles, and especially the purse strings that finance their future.”
Co-counsel Elliott R. Feldman adds, “We will be working in tandem with attorneys who have filed wrongful death claims on behalf of their decedent clients to see that the 9/11 victims, including our clients and the families who have suffered personal losses and tragedies, are compensated from the terrorists’ assets for their victimization.”

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