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American Airlines settles 9/11 lawsuit

American Airlines settles 9/11 lawsuit
In this Sept. 12, 2001 file photo, firefighters pour water on the still smoldering World Trade Center 7, left, in New York. Negligence was not the cause of the collapse of a third World Trade Center tower several hours after the twin towers were destroyed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a federal appeals court said Wednesday, absolving a developer and others of responsibility in the destruction of the 47-story building. (AP Photo/Nick Fanelli, File)
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FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — American Airlines and its insurers have settled a long-running legal battle with financial-services firm Cantor Fitzgerald, which lost 658 employees when terrorists crashed a hijacked airliner into the World Trade Center.

Terms of the settlement were not disclosed when the agreement was announced in federal court in New York. Cantor Fitzgerald had sought nearly $1.1 billion in damages above insurance payments. The New York Times reported that the firm later reduced its demand to between $400 million and $500 million. The case had been scheduled for trial in January.

In 2001, Cantor Fitzgerald's headquarters were in the top floors of the north tower, which was struck by American Airlines Flight 11. The firm accused American of negligence in allowing hijackers to board the plane and crash it into the tower. American responded that it could not have predicted such an attack and that it followed federal security regulations.

A spokesman for American, Sean Collins, said Friday that the airline's insurers had agreed to settle the claims but the airline did not admit liability.

"American Airlines and the courageous crew members and passengers on Flight 77 and Flight 11 were all victims of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001," Collins said in an emailed statement. He said American defended itself against claims by property owners and others who believe that "American should have done what the government could not do — prevent the terrorist attacks."

Through a spokesman, Cantor Fitzgerald declined to comment.
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