Larry Silverstein, owner of the World Trade Center, is seeking $3.5 billion from American Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways for the September 11, 2001, attacks in which terrorists hijacked their planes and flew them into the Twin Towers.
The attack cost the WTC owners $7 billion, according to Silverstein’s attorney Richard Williamson.
"This did not just come out of a hat," Williamson said. "You can't just say, 'I have economic loss.'"
The attorney for the airlines, Roger Podesta, said Silverstein’s claim exceeds the compensation owed because he already received $5 billion from his insurance company. He said if Silverstein takes in $8.5 billion in total compensation, that would be 2.5 times the fair value of the buildings.
Williamson says that although Silverstein received an insurance payout, it does not stop him from pursuing another claim.
Both sides have argued that the other has incorrectly calculated the value of the damage that occurred. The case is being heard in Manhattan’s U.S. District Court by Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein.
One World Trade Center, formerly known as Freedom Tower, is due to open in 2014. Estimated cost of the tallest building in the western hemisphere is $3.9 billion.