Bloomberg News

United, Huntleigh Resolve Last 9/11 Wrongful Death Claim in N.Y.

September 20, 2011

Sept. 20 (Bloomberg) -- United Continental Holdings Inc., the world’s biggest airline, and security contractor Huntleigh USA Corp. have resolved the last Sept. 11, 2001, wrongful death lawsuit in New York.

Lawyers for Mary Bavis, whose son Mark Bavis was on board United Airlines Flight 175 when terrorists crashed it into the South Tower of New York’s World Trade Center, filed papers in New York yesterday agreeing to dismiss the case. The parties didn’t disclose the terms of the settlement.

“A resolution was reached out of court between the Bavis family and the defendants,” Joseph Rice, one of the lawyers representing the Bavises, said yesterday in a phone interview.

The suit, which was scheduled for trial Nov. 7, was the last of 95 wrongful-death suits filed after the attacks that was still pending in federal court in New York. The Bavises claimed that United and Huntleigh, the airline’s security contractor, were negligent in permitting five terrorists to board the flight at Boston’s Logan International Airport and take control of the plane.

“The tragic events of 9/11 impacted all of us, and we are pleased to resolve this case,” said Megan McCarthy, a spokeswoman for Chicago-based United Continental.

‘We’re Pleased’

“We’re pleased that the parties have resolved the case,” said Jonathan Ross, a lawyer for Huntleigh.

Mark Bavis, 31, was traveling from his home in Massachusetts to Los Angeles, where he worked as a scout for the Los Angeles Kings professional hockey team, when he and all the other passengers on the plane were killed.

The Bavises sued United and Huntleigh in federal court, rather than filing a claim with the Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund, which paid out $7 billion to victims of the attacks and family members.

In March 2009, a mediator reported to U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein, the judge overseeing the Sept. 11 suits, that 92 of the 95 cases had been settled for a total of about $500 million.

The case is Bavis v. UAL Corp., 02-cv-07154, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

--Editors: Peter Blumberg, Michael Hytha

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Van Voris in New York at rvanvoris@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net


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