Posted by: Patricia Salkin | July 2, 2008

NY Appellate Court Decision a Reminder to Planners to Consider Special Needs for Terrorist Sensitive Facilities

In a unanimous decision, a New York Appellate Court upheld a jury’s finding that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey had failed to implement adequate security measures despite repeated warnings that the World Trade Center’s underground parking garage was vulnerable to an “event of potentially catastrophic magnitude,” amounted to negligence. Terrorists drove a rental van laden with explosives into the public parking garage, lit a 10-minute fuse and fled. The opinion noted that the attack occurred despite internal and outside consultants’ reports advising that the WTC garage was susceptible to attack and the exact manner by which terrorists could carry out a car bombing. The Port Authority rejected recommendations as to ways to stave off an attack. The Port Authority’s argument that it had no duty to increase the garage’s security was rejected. The court noted that the Port Authority had “ample notice that a car bombing was not merely possible, but could very well occur if obvious, specifically identified vulnerabilities were not addressed.” Practice Pointer: Potential premises liability, especially for terrorist-sensitive facilities, should be considered in land use decisions.


Nash v. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, 2008 NY Slip Op. 03991 (1st Dept., 4/29/2008 ).


The opinion can be accessed at:


Special thanks to Rufus C. Young, Jr. of  Burke, Williams & Sorensen for the abstract. See:

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