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14 families of 9/11 victims settle suit

  • Story Highlights
  • Families of victims settle with United Airlines and private airline security company
  • Families sued instead of accepting money from victims compensation fund
  • Terms of settlement not disclosed
  • Lawsuits were among some 90 wrongful death suits stemming from attacks
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From Nkechi Nneji
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NEW YORK (CNN) -- Fourteen families of victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks reached settlements with United Airlines and a private airline security company in federal court Monday.

People gather around a reflecting pool at the World Trade Center site on the sixth anniversary of the attacks.

The terms of the settlements were not disclosed.

The families chose to sue instead of accepting payment from the victims compensation fund because they felt the fund was "unfair in numerous ways," said Donald Migliori, an attorney from Motley Rice LL, which is representing the majority of the plaintiffs.

Congress created the compensation fund two weeks after the attacks to help the families of those killed and the injured survivors.

The fund was also designed to discourage lawsuits against American and United airlines, the carriers whose jets were hijacked in the plot. Those who accepted payment from the fund waived their rights to sue individual companies.

The majority of the suits settled in Manhattan on Monday involved passengers from United Airline flights 93 and 175, two of the four planes that crashed after being hijacked by terrorists. Flight 93 crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Flight 175 was one of two planes that crashed into the World Trade Center.

The lawsuits were among some 90 wrongful death suits stemming from the attacks.

Among the defendants was Argenbright Security, which was released from its contract by the Department of Transportation in 2002 amid allegations of inferior security standards.

Marc Moller of Kreindler & Kreindler, who coordinates communication among the various law firms involved, said some families still may choose to reject the settlement and seek a trial.

Motley Rice has 21 remaining cases awaiting litigation.

The next case in which action is expected involves American Airlines Flight 77 victim Paul Ambrose. Ambrose, 32, was a senior clinical adviser with the Office of the Surgeon General who worked toward improving health care for the poor.

He was killed along with 52 other passengers and six crew members when the plane crashed into the Pentagon. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

All About September 11 Attacks

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