A federal judge today dismissed the Massachusetts Port Authority from the last remaining lawsuit brought by family members who lost loved ones in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The ruling releases Massport, the agency that runs Logan International Airport, from liability in the death of a Boston man killed in the crash of United Airlines Flight 175, says a Boston.com report.
US District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein of the Southern District of New York accepted Massport’s argument that security screening that might have prevented the terrorists from bringing weapons on board was the responsibility of the airlines, not the airport, the report says.
"His ruling marked the first time that a judge has ruled that Logan should not be considered liable for security lapses," says the report. "It relieved other airport operators who supported Massport’s contention that a ruling in favor of the plaintiffs would upend the rules of aviation security policy."
Massport’s interim chief executive and longtime legal counsel David S. Mackey, who was in court to hear the oral arguments, expressed relief but also sympathized with the family of victim Mark Bavis, says the report.
“The entire Logan Airport community will forever carry in its heart the events of 9-11,” he said in a statement he read inside the courtroom. “Our thoughts and prayers will always be with the victims of that tragic day and their families.”
According to the Boston.com article, the ruling was a blow to the family of Bavis, a 31-year-old hockey scout who died on Sept. 11 and whose family had resisted settlement in the hopes of holding Massport and others accountable for the tragedy.
“We felt strongly that common sense and reason should prevail that they were a party that could have prevented this,” said the victim’s twin brother, Michael Bavis, after the hearing. “The judge has made his decision which we will respect.”