Single event ruling over WTC payout by three insurers

World Trade Centre (WTC) leaseholder Larry Silverstein is to appeal against last week's court ruling in favour of three insurers that the WTC attacks should be considered one event rather than two.

Last week, a US judge ruled that insurers Royal & SunAlliance, Hartford Financial Services and the St Paul Companies are required to make only one payment in respect of the WTC attacks.

Judge John Martin ruled that the insurers are bound by documents that define the 11 September attacks as a single event.

The decision went against Silverstein who argued that the attacks on the WTC constituted two separate occurrences, so entitling the leaseholder to two insurance payouts.

He hopes the appeal court will overturn last week's decision by the District Court so that he is eligible for the maximum compensation.

If the attacks are considered one event the WTC insurers will have to pay in the region of $3.5bn (£2.2bn) for property losses, but this will be doubled to $7bn (£4.4bn) if it is judged to be two.

The ruling was welcomed by insurers as it is thought it will make it more likely the 17 insurers still involved in ongoing litigation will also receive rulings that the attacks were a single occurrence.

Originally 22 insurers had lines on the buildings, but Silverstein made out-of-court settlements earlier this year with Ace Bermuda Insurance and XL Insurance.