Nearly one month ago, Lloyd’s of London, one of the largest insurance organizations in the world, levied allegations against prominent figures and organizations in Saudi Arabia regarding the September 11 attacks in the U.S. The insurer sought to recover money from the event, an initiative that was met with staunch opposition from the United Nations and other groups. The controversy surrounding the issue ultimately pressured Lloyd’s to discontinue its efforts. This, however, was not the end of the matter for the U.S., as a magistrate judge in New York took up the cause.
Instead of pursuing reparations from Saudi Arabia, Federal Magistrate Judge Frank Maas has targeted the organization that has been tied to the 2001 attacks: al-Qaida. Judge Mass ruled last week that the group should be assessed for some $9.3 billion in insured losses as a result of damage done to properties and businesses. Maas’ ruling is backed by a number of insurance companies from the U.S. that have been involved in various lawsuits regarding the attacks since 2003.
While al-Qaida itself has been the target of a multitude of lawsuits, the organization has yet to respond to any of them. At this time, insurers are seeking only to assess the cost of damages from the attack. Once the assessment is finalized, the companies are likely to work toward recovering that money. Judge Maas’ ruling will afford these companies more freedom in assessing the costs and bring them one more step toward recovering from insured losses.