Supreme Court declines to hear 9/11 suit
The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday dismissed a case against New York City and Motorola filed by the families of 12 firefighters that died when the World Trade Center (WTC) collapsed—deaths the families claimed were attributable to the city’s allegedly faulty radio equipment supplied by the vendor giant.
In taking its action, the Supreme Court upheld two previous judicial rulings that the families could not sue New York City or Motorola because they filed claims with the Victim Compensation Fund established by Congress in the aftermath of the terrorist tragedy.
“Motorola is pleased with the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court to let stand the ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals that dismissed the Virgilio lawsuit. The U.S. Supreme Court ruling is appropriate and speaks for itself,” Motorola spokesman Steve Gorecki said in a prepared statement. “Sept. 11 was a horrible and tragic day, and our hearts go out to those who lost family members and loved ones.”
In the lawsuit, Virgilio v. New York and Motorola, the late firefighters’ families claimed the firefighters were unable to hear orders to evacuate the WTC tower because the firefighters were using the same radios that were not effective during the aftermath of the WTC bombing in 1993. The families had argued that the legislation that created the Victim Compensation Fund should not be used to absolve New York City and Motorola from responsibility for upgrading the radio system in a manner that would have worked on Sept. 11, 2001.