Letter sent to the New York Attorney General

9-11 Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations

Perry Binder, J.D.
Assistant Professor of Legal Studies
Robinson College of Business

February 3, 2003

Office of New York State
Attorney General Eliot Spitzer
Department of Law
120 Broadway
New York, NY 10271

Re:  Wrongful Death statute of limitations issues for WTC survivors


Dear Attorney General Spitzer:

I am a legal studies professor at Georgia State University's Robinson College of Business.  As a former New Yorker, I have kept a close watch on the legal issues revolving around 9-11.  In this regard, I set up an interactive 9-11 web site as an educational tool.

More specifically, I have followed the workings of the Government's Compensation Fund, and note that we are now witnessing many flaws in the procedures with which money is being disbursed.

I have no financial interest in this matter.  As an educator, I foresee additional complications on the horizon for WTC victims/survivors.  One such issue is the statute of limitations for New Yorkers wishing to file a wrongful death action, while foregoing relief under the Fund.

As you are aware, a New Yorker has two years to file this type of claim (thus, the statute of limitations will expire on Sept. 10, 2003 for the events of 9-11).  This date is in conflict with the deadline to file under the Fund (Dec. 21, 2003)..

Since the validity of the Fund has been challenged in court by victims from Cantor Fitzgerald (see David W. Chen, The New York Times, Jan.. 27, 2003, "Relatives of 7 Victims File Suit"), it is advisable for the legislature to extend the statute of limitations for WTC survivors to a date which at least mirrors the Fund deadline (I recommend an extension until Sept. 10, 2004).

I am writing to you specifically to utilize your resources and contacts in the New York legislature to lobby for this simple, but important deadline change.

Yours truly,

Perry Binder, JD
Assistant Professor of Legal Studies
Robinson College of Business
Georgia State University
9-11 Civil Liability Web Site