A judge is urging lawyers in the June trial of the only wrongful death case remaining from the Sept. 11 attacks to see if they can trim the number of defendants, but one lawyer cited lingering questions over how weapons made it onto the plane as a reason why a Boston airport might need to remain in the case.
U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein during a pretrial hearing last Friday invited an airport security company and the Massachusetts Port Authority to submit written arguments if they want to be eliminated as defendants in a case brought by the family of Mark Bavis, of West Newton, Mass., against United Airlines and airport security companies. A lawyer for the Port Authority promised to do so.
“I’ve been pushing for the elimination of defendants,” Hellerstein said, adding that his efforts had been largely unsuccessful.
Bavis was a scout for the Los Angeles Kings hockey team when he died aboard United Flight 175 at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. The lawsuit brought by the Bavis family is the only one of 95 lawsuits brought on behalf of 96 victims in the attacks that has not been settled. All but 3 percent of the families of relatives killed in four planes taken over by terrorists on Sept. 11 chose to receive payments from a special fund Congress established. It distributed more than $7 billion to over 5,000 survivors.