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World Trade Center: 9/11 lawsuit can't continue, says judge

World Trade Center owners can't sue the airlines for the events of 9/11, a judge ruled Thursday. The World Trade Center owners have already received $5 billion in insurance payments, but sought $3.5 billion more from the airlines' insurers.

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The moon rises over One World Trade Center, which stands where the World Trade Center twin towers once stood. Owners of the World Trade Center sought additional money from airlines' insurers for the costs of recovering from the 9/11 attacks and building One World Trade Center.

Julio Cortez/AP/File

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he owners of the World Trade Center can't demand billions of dollars more in insurance money for the destruction caused by the Sept. 11 attacks, a federal judge decided Thursday.

Judge Alvin Hellerstein ruled after hearing testimony by economic experts for the trade center owners and for the airlines linked to the planes that were hijacked in the attacks. The non-jury trial was held to decide whether the owners could collect more than the nearly $5 billion they've already received toward reconstruction.

In ruling against developer Larry Silverstein and World Trade Center Properties, the judge cited state laws that bar "windfalls and double recovery on the same loss."

The judge said that though he was ruling against the trade center owners, they deserved credit for spearheading the recovery effort at the 16-acre lower Manhattan site.

"You were dealt a very severe blow," the judge said of the attack, which turned the trade center into an inferno and destroyed the twin towers. Since then, the developer's workers have labored to "create beauty out the ashes of the destruction," he added.

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