In Re World Trade Center Bombing Litigation
Court of Appeals of New York
957 N.E.2d 733 (2011)
In 1993, terrorists drove a rented van containing a fertilizer bomb into the parking garage of the World Trade Center (WTC), parked next to an access ramp, and lit the fuse on the bomb to detonate ten minutes later. The resulting explosion created a blast crater six stories deep, killed six individuals, and wounded scores of others. Approximately 650 plaintiffs filed 174 lawsuits against the Port Authority (PA), the public entity jointly created between the states of New York and New Jersey to oversee and manage certain commerce, trade, and transportation hubs like airports, bridges, and tunnels, as well as the parking garage and several floors of the WTC. The essence of all claims was that the PA acted negligently by failing to provide adequate security. Thereafter, the actions were consolidated. After discovery, the PA moved for summary judgment on the ground that it was entitled to the protection of governmental immunity and that the attack was not a foreseeable act as a matter of law. The trial court denied the motion concluding that the negligent acts stemmed from the PA’s proprietary capacity as a landowner and not as a governmental body. The appellate division affirmed. The Court of Appeals of New York granted the PA’s motion for leave to appeal.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Jones, J.)
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