Families of Sept. Hijack Victims File Suit

Six families are suing airlines. A study presents a grim post-Sept. 11 economic outlook. Surprisingly few people were treated for injuries after the World Trade Center collapse. A Sept. 11 widow returns to work as a flight attendant.

Families of Sept. 11 Hijack Victims File Suit

W A S H I N G T O N, Jan. 11 — The families of six passengers who were aboard airplanes that crashed on Sept. 11 sued the airlines and airport security companies today, claiming they failed to adequately protect passengers from the hijackers.

The lawsuits, filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, claim wrongful death, request a trial by jury and seek unspecified damages.

The lawsuits name American and United airlines; Huntleigh USA Corp., which provides security at Boston's Logan Airport; and Argenbright Security Inc., which operates at Dulles International Airport and Newark Airport.

Those were the three airports where the hijacked planes departed.

By filing the lawsuits, the families forfeit any money from the federal Victims Compensation Fund, which is available only to those families that agree not to sue the airlines or other entities. The average compensation award from the fund is expected to be $1.6 million.

The victims' attorney is former Transportation Department inspector general Mary Schiavo, a vocal critic of government and airline safety policies.

A news release from Schiavo's law firm said the families chose to file a lawsuit instead of going to the fund to "expose years of ineffective security practices, know the truth, improve security and accord accountability."

The families are identified only by initials "because some fear public and government backlash in exercising their legal rights to hold accountable those whose negligence allowed the terrorists' plot to succeed," Schiavo said.

The families had relatives aboard the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center's south tower, Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field.

Schiavo said Boeing, the flight schools that trained the hijackers and the Federal Aviation Administration also may be added to the lawsuits, which are the second related to the Sept. 11 attacks.

The first lawsuit was filed Dec. 20 by Ellen Mariani of Derry, N.H., for the loss of her husband, Louis Mariani, a passenger on the United plane that hit the south tower.

United spokesman Chris Brathwaite and Huntleigh spokeswoman Jessica Neal had no comment on the lawsuit. Phone calls to American Airlines and Argenbright Security were not immediately returned.

—The Associated Press

Study: Attacks Will Wipe Out 1.6M Jobs in 2002

L O S A N G E L E S, Jan. 11 — A study released today predicts the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks will reverberate through the U.S. economy for years, wiping out more than 1.6 million jobs in 2002 alone.

The losses will hit cities with exposure to the tourism and airline sectors hardest, but will also spread across a wide range of industries, from dining to financial services, according to the Milken Institute, a Santa Monica-based economic think-tank.

New York City will lose nearly 150,000 jobs in 2002, followed by Los Angeles with 69,000 jobs, and Chicago with at least 68,000 jobs. Already, 248,000 jobs have been lost nationwide because of the attacks, the institute said.

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