Cantor Fitzgerald v. American Airlines

Cantor Fitzgerald, a financial services company which had offices in the World Trade Center, sued American Airlines, alleging negligence in permitting hijackers to board and capture one of the airplanes that destroyed the buildings on September 11, 2001. In May 2010, Cantor’s economic damages expert filed a report alleging that Cantor suffered lost profits of over $950 million due to declines in market share after the 9/11 attack. Counsel for American Airlines retained Compass Lexecon expert Professor Daniel R. Fischel to assess this damages claim. In January 2011, American Airlines won a motion for summary judgment which severely limited Cantor’s claim. In his ruling, Judge Alvin Hellerstein rejected Cantor’s damages claim, agreeing that Cantor’s expert’s methodology was unable to distinguish between lost profits caused by deaths and injuries of employees, which are not allowable under New York law, and losses caused by other factors. Professor Fischel was supported by Todd Kendall and others in Compass Lexecon’s Chicago office. We worked with Roger Podesta and Maura Kathleen Monaghan of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, and Desmond T. Barry, Jr. and Michael J. Peterson of Condon & Forsyth LLP.