A New York jury yesterday held the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey negligent in safeguarding the World Trade Center before the 1993 terror bombing that killed six people and injured 1,000, reports the New York Times. The six-member state jury unanimously found that the agency did not heed warnings that the underground garage was vulnerable to terrorist attack and should be closed to public parking. The jury said the failure was “a substantial factor” in allowing the bombing to occur. The verdict came after four weeks of testimony from security experts and three former directors of the Port Authority.
The Port Authority will appeal. The 1993 bombing victims never received the outpouring of public support or compensation that went to those of the much more devastating 9/11 attacks. More than 400 plaintiffs, including people hurt in the attack, families of the dead and businesses, have lawsuits pending against the Port Authority. The negligence verdict clears the way for them to press forward with claims for lost wages, damage to businesses, and pain and suffering. Lawyers for the plaintiffs said they were seeking a total of as much as $1.8 billion. Those cases will be decided through separate legal proceedings, which could end in trials or settlements. The authority also faces lawsuits relating to the 9/11 attacks.