Family Forced to Settle 9/11 Lawsuit against United Airlines Out-of-Court

Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Mark Bavis
The lone 9/11 family that has held out for 10 years in order to have its day in court has decided after all to settle before going to trial.
The survivors of Mark Bavis say they had no choice.
Mike Bavis, twin brother of the pro hockey scout killed aboard Flight 175 that crashed into the World Trade Center, claimed rulings by Judge Alvin Hellerstein forced the family to negotiate a settlement, instead of proceeding to trial in November with their wrongful death lawsuit.
“For almost 10 years, my family never even considered the word ‘settle,’” Mike Bavis told the Boston 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.”
The Bavis family wanted United Airlines and its security contractor, Huntleigh USA, to have to prove they met the state standards of wrongful death, which would have posed a tougher legal hurdle to clear for the defendants. However, Hellerstein ruled on September 7 that,the companies had to prove only that the companies met federal aviation safety standards, which are less strict.
On Friday, lawyers for the family filed briefs that revealed that two of the hijackers were allowed onto the plane without secondary screening, even though they did not answer security questions because they did not speak English. The additional hand screening would have revealed that they were carrying knives, Mace and pepper spray onto the plane. Some of the United Airlines security screeners who cleared the terrorists on September 11, 2001, did not themselves speak English, including one who needed a translator for her deposition in the case.
The Bavis’ were the last holdouts among the thousands that either accepted money from the $7 billion Victims Compensation Fund or settled their own lawsuits.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
Bavis Family Settles 9/11 Lawsuit (by Bella English, Boston Globe)


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