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New York Personal Injury Attorneys

David J. Dean’s Success as Lead Trial Attorney in WTC Bombing Trial

March 29, 2023 in

On Feb. 26, 1993, a bomb exploded in the parking garage below the North Tower of World Trade Center, killing six people and injuring more than 1,000. Although the bombing was an act of terrorism, in an unprecedented verdict, David J. Dean was able to prove that the Port Authority acted negligently and could have prevented it.

Lead Trial Attorney David J. Dean Successfully Argues Port Authority’s Negligence in Civil Trial

David J. Dean represented the plaintiffs in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing trial, which focused on the terrorist attack in New York City in 1993.

As the lead trial attorney, David J. Dean argued that Port Authority should have anticipated the terrorist attack. He based his claim on a memo Port Authority had received from experts that indicated and predicted the parking garage’s susceptibility to a bombing in 1985, eight years before the attack.  As a result, he argued that the public parking garage should have been closed and that Port Authority could have prevented the bombing if the agency had taken action in the years prior. 

“The case was never about blaming the terrorists,” Dean said in 2005, according to an article in the New York Times. “It was about what the Port Authority should have done. They disregarded the advice of their own experts and other experts. They were motivated by money. They should have thought about the ultimate sacrifice of human lives.”

Port Authority Found Negligent in Unprecedented Verdict In Favor of New York City Attorney David J. Dean’s Clients

David J. Dean represented 450 victims in the case against the transportation authority. During the trial, Dean presented evidence that the Port Authority had received warnings about the possibility of a terrorist attack on the World Trade Center before the bombing. Despite this, the Port Authority had not implemented increased security screening, vehicle checkpoints, or even closure that could have prevented the attack.

In an unprecedented verdict, the jury found that the Port Authority was indeed negligent and failed to establish proper security measures after being warned that a terrorist attack was possible. The jury found that Port Authority was 68 percent at fault for the bombing, while the terrorists who carried it out were 32 percent at fault. 

The finding of negligence against the Port Authority in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing trial highlighted the responsibility of property owners and operators to take reasonable measures to protect against foreseeable risks, including the threat of terrorism. In addition, the verdict required Port Authority to pay $244 million in damages, although, after an appeal, the court reduced the restitution owed to the plaintiffs. 

About New York City Attorney David J. Dean and SPBMCC

As a full-service personal injury firm, Sullivan Papain Block McManus Coffinas & Cannavo, P.C. specializes in all areas of personal injury. Our dedicated litigation support teams diligently and vigorously represent clients, including matters related to 9/11-related illness, personal injury, car accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, premises liability, product liability, and firefighter law across New York City, Long Island, Nassau, and Suffolk counties, as well as New Jersey. Contact us today to learn more about our firm or schedule a consultation with an attorney.

Learn More About New York Attorney David J. Dean, Esq.

David J. Dean, Esq. is a senior trial attorney focusing on litigation, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence, and plaintiff personal injury. His work has resulted in several multi-million dollar settlements. Click here to learn more about member David J. Dean and his other notable cases.

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