A federal appellate court struck a blow to Truth and Freedom today when it ruled that the developers of World Trade Building 7 were not negligent or responsible for its collapse by "fire" on September 11, 2001.
Con Ed and a group of insurers had sued the Building 7 owners and developers (including Larry "Pull It" Silverstein), claiming that because diesel generators weren't installed in the building to provide emergency sources of water, they were at least in part responsible for the 47-story building's collapse more than seven hours after the Twin Towers came down. (Oddly, Dick Cheney, John Ashcroft, Wayne Newton, the GEICO Gecko, the Eye of Providence, and many other culpable subjects are not listed as defendants in the complaint.)
In their ruling [PDF], Judges Rosemary Pooler and Barrington Parker state that "Under Con Ed’s approach to liability, those who designed and constructed the building would presumably be liable if, for example, 7WTC collapsed as a result of a fire triggered by a nuclear attack on lower Manhattan."
Interesting. Very, very, interesting.
Judge Richard Wesley dissented. Click this first.
Plaintiffs’ experts have articulated a standard of care: high-rise buildings must be built to withstand a fire that cannot be extinguished by the efforts of firefighters. Plaintiffs’ experts have also identified a deviation from that standard: the building was designed and erected in such a way that it was subject to failure if a fire broke out that could not be quelled. They have tied that standard and its deviation to the injury for which they seek recompense. Lastly, plaintiffs’ experts have offered opinions that 7WTC did not collapse as a result of structural damage from falling debris.
One would think that, on this record, the majority, would want to hear from defendants’ experts on why 7WTC collapsed. It may well be that causation, be it proximate or in fact,can be decided as a matter of law in the district court after a careful review of all expert submissions or that a trial will result in a defendants’ verdict, but that is not the path the majority has chosen for this case. I would remand the matter to the district court for trial. I, therefore, respectfully dissent.
For a far more sinister conspiracy, head over to the New York Review of Books.