World Trade Center Bombing Resonates 20 Years Later


ALAN NELSON: Foreman on the 2005 Manhattan jury that found the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey liable for failing to implement proper security measures in the World Trade Center's underground garage.

Alan Nelson, shown in this photo, served as the jury foreman in the 2005 lawsuit against the Port Authority.

Alan Nelson's recollection of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing is closely tied to the 2005 trial that he watched unfold from the jury box.

"It was by far the most complicated [trial] and there was a lot of interest to it, of course, because it connected directly to historical events," Nelson said.

"What happened was there was a lot of discussion in generalities about the number injured, where they were, things like that," he said. "There wasn't as if [the victims] were given names and personalities and situations because it wasn't really targeted.

"I remember one of the key facts for us was the fact that they allowed people to use [the World Trade Center underground garage] as a general traffic turn at the bottom of the West Side Highway," he said.

"Anyone could literally turn around in there and go back out. It was a little shocking that that was allowed."

Nelson said he remembers he was at home on the Lower East Side in New York when the Feb. 26 bombing occurred.

"From the Port Authority's point of view, their attempts to make it seem like that none of this would have struck anyone as odd because 9/11 hadn't occurred yet," he said. "I felt that the laxness was pretty extreme, even given the circumstances.

"I feel some real sympathy for the individuals, even if we didn't meet them," he said.

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