Over twelve years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, one of the last lawsuits against the airline industry has been settled: Cantor Fitzgerald, a prominent Wall Street firm, will get $135 million from American Airlines.
Cantor was one of the hardest-hit companies in the attacks; its offices were on the top floors of World Trade Center's North Tower, and 658 of the 2,735 people killed in New York were Cantor employees. Almost three out of four of Cantor's New York-based employees were killed that day.
Though Cantor was able to rebuild in the years following, it sued American Airlines for over $1.1 billion in 2004, the price the firm placed on property damages and the loss of business its employees would have done had they not been killed. Cantor maintained that American was negligent for allowing terrorists to hijack one of its planes.
American Airlines insisted that it could not have foreseen, nor prevented, the attack.
The settlement, which still has to be approved by a judge, is, of course, bittersweet. The New York Times described what Cantor lost that day, and that no amount of money will ever bring back:
Over half of Cantor’s 658 victims had children, most of whom were younger than 12 years old. More than three dozen Cantor widows were pregnant at the time of the attack. More than 750 Cantor children lost at least one parent. At least 20 families lost two members, including many pairs of brothers, a pair of sisters, a father and a daughter; and in some cases, three family members were lost.