Judge to decide if airlines held liable for damage to World Trade Center in Sept. 11, 2001 attack

NEW YORK - A judge plans to decide whether the owners of the World Trade Center can try to make several airlines and other aviation defendants pay billions of dollars in damages from the 9/11 attacks.

Federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein in Manhattan says he will announce his decision at the end of a nonjury trial that starts Monday.

The trial will decide whether World Trade Center Properties and its affiliates can receive more than the $4.9 billion in insurance proceeds they have already gotten.

If the judge rules the trade center owners are entitled to additional money, a liability trial might be scheduled. Hellerstein has already said the maximum the owners could recover from aviation defendants would be $3.5 billion. The owners say it has cost more than $8 billion to rebuild.

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