TRENTON – A resolution sponsored by Senators Joseph V. Doria and Nia H. Gill which would urge the insurance industry to quickly and fairly settle any outstanding insurance claims stemming from the World Trade Center terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 was approved today by the Senate by a vote of 36-0.
“September 11, 2001 changed the world as we know it, and we’re still feeling the impact more than five years after the despicable attacks occurred,” said Senator Doria, D-Hudson. “As a resident and mayor of a city overlooking the New York skyline, we’re reminded every day of what was taken from us on that fateful date – not just in terms of a recognizable landmark, but also the thousands of lives lost to terrorism. While I don’t think America will ever fully heal from the September 11 terrorist attacks, we’re beginning to pick up the pieces, and move on in this new world.”
“The insurance industry knows the price we paid for freedom on September 11, having lost so many who worked in the World Trade Center,” said Senator Gill, D-Essex and Passaic, the Chair of the Senate Commerce Committee. “However, even in grief, America’s spirit is resilient, and we want to return to some sense of normalcy. While insurance claims for the World Trade Center property remain unresolved, we cannot move ahead with the healing process.”
The resolution, SCR-126, strongly urges the insurers of the World Trade Center to fairly and expeditiously settle all remaining insurance claims from the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The resolution refers to the fact that on October 18, 2006, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed a District Court decision on the responsibilities of insurers covering the building, in regards to factual questions that remained outstanding. The resolution also urges the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance to investigate the lawfulness of the conduct of certain insurers of the World Trade Center, and to take all actions within the Department’s power to penalize any unlawful conduct.
“I understand that there was originally some confusion as to the extent of the responsibility of insurers to reimburse for the World Trade Center destruction,” said Senator Gill. “However, any lingering questions as to the facts of the day, and insurers’ obligations, were cleared up in federal court. There shouldn’t be anything impeding swift resolution of any outstanding insurance claims on the World Trade Center.”
“The Ground Zero site has remained empty since the attacks, despite the desire from New Jersey and New York leaders to begin rebuilding,” said Senator Doria. “While insurance claims remain unresolved, we cannot even build an appropriate monument to those who paid the ultimate price for American freedom. I hope the insurance industry can resolve these outstanding insurance claims quickly and fairly, so we can begin the long process of restoring the World Trade Center site to a semblance of its former glory.”
An identical resolution, sponsored by Assemblyman Mike Panter and Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, was approved by the Assembly today by a vote of 75-0.