Skip to main content

Court documents offer glimpse into 9/11 security lapse, attorney says

By Sheila Steffen, CNN
  • Court papers provide evidence of negligence in 9/11 lawsuit, attorney says
  • Defendants say security breach was not their fault
  • Mark Bavis died when his flight crashed into the World Trade Center's south tower

New York (CNN) -- The attorney for a family who filed a wrongful death lawsuit in the death of Mark Bavis, 31 -- who died in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks -- says new court documents offer a glimpse into airport security lapses that made the attacks possible.

Security screeners at Boston's Logan International Airport allegedly had trouble communicating in English, were unable to detect weapons -- such as a chemical spray called Mace -- and were operating under a general manager who was unaware of the al-Qaeda terrorist threat.

"What it came down to that day was that entities did not do their job," said Mary Schiavo, attorney for the Bavis family.

Mark Bavis, a hockey scout aboard United Airlines Flight 175, died when his flight crashed into the World Trade Center's south tower.

"This suit is not about money, it never has been," Schiavo added. "It's about accountability."

Thousands of families received monetary compensation following legal settlements involving 9/11 victims.

The documents were filed in Manhattan federal court in a lawsuit against United Airlines, a private security company and Massachusetts Port Authority -- which owns and operates Logan airport.

The defendants say they are not liable for the attacks.

Massport spokesman Matthew Brelis declined to comment on the case, but his agency in May filed a motion to dismiss, saying "Mr. Bavis's tragic death was not due to the breach of any security layer for which Massport had authority or responsibility under federal law."

In the filing, Massport claims the Federal Aviation Administration regulations for screening passengers and their baggage was not the responsibility of airports but the airlines.

A spokesman for United Airlines declined comment.

Schiavo maintains that the airline "had exclusive control over its aircraft and over security procedures" and are ultimately responsible for the safety of its passengers.

The trial date is set for November 7.