9/11 victim’s family settles suit

By Agence France-Presse
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 7:58 EDT
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The family of a man killed on 9/11 withdrew its lawsuit Monday against United Airlines and a security company whom they had blamed for allowing al-Qaeda hijackers to board Flight 175.

The suit by the Bavis family in New York federal court had been the last by relatives of the nearly 3,000 victims on September 11, 2001. Thousands of others had settled suits or agreed to take compensation from a $7 billion fund.

A trial had been due to start in November but late Tuesday attorneys for victim Mark Bavis’ mother, Mary Bavis, and for the defendants, filed a “stipulation of voluntary dismissal.”

US media said a settlement was reached with the defendants, led by United Airlines, but the contents was not disclosed.

Mark Bavis, aged 31, was aboard Flight 175 which left Boston’s airport and was piloted by hijackers into the second World Trade Center tower in New York.

His family said the airline and the security workers in Boston had failed their duty to prevent the five al-Qaeda members from boarding with knives and pepper spray.

Twin brother Mike Bavis told the Boston Globe daily that they had not wanted to settle but had been forced to by the legal system.

“For almost 10 years, my family never even considered the word ?settle,?” he told the Globe.

“We were always going to trial. How that changed has everything to do with the court, the legal system and the rulings from Judge (Alvin) Hellerstein.”

Prior to the dismissal, Bavis’ attorneys filed a 100-page brief containing evidence they had intended to use in trial. The evidence paints a damning picture of lax security by screeners who did not speak English and did not know what pepper spray was.

Mike Bavis told the Globe that the case and the release of those documents had revealed more than the official US commission looking into 9/11.

“The public should realize this private law firm went way beyond the federal commission appointed to investigate 9/11,” he said.

“Is this a moral victory? It depends on what happens. If the government and the FAA are more accountable in doing their jobs, then it will be worth it.”

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
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