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Massport dismissed from 9/11 wrongful death suit

By Logan Burruss and Leigh Remizowski, CNN
  • The family of a 9/11 victim filed the lawsuit
  • The suit also names United Airlines and security company Huntleigh USA
  • It claims security screeners at Boston's airport were unable to detect weapons

New York (CNN) -- Attorneys for the family of a 9/11 victim said they will push forward with a wrongful death lawsuit against United Airlines and a private security company despite a federal judge's decision to dismiss the Massachusetts Port Authority from the suit.

The lawsuit, originally filed in Manhattan federal court, alleges that Massport, United Airlines and security company Huntleigh USA were responsible for the security breaches that led to the death of Mark Bavis, 31, who was aboard United Flight 175 when it crashed into the World Trade Center's South Tower on September 11, 2001.

Donald Migliori, an attorney for Bavis' family, said that Wednesday's dismissal of Massport -- the agency that owns and operates Boston Logan International Airport -- from the lawsuit was a disappointment, but that it narrows the case's focus around security on the airplane itself.

"It will be very targeted to United Airlines," he said of the lawsuit. "United failed wholesale at keeping the American public safe."

The suit claims that security screeners at Logan International had trouble communicating in English, were unable to detect weapons such as the chemical spray Mace, and were operating under a general manager who was unaware of the al Qaeda terrorist threat.

"This was a tragic event and we are actively working to resolve this case," said United Airlines spokeswoman Megan McCarthy.

From the start, the defendants have said they are not liable for the attacks.

Massport filed a motion to dismiss in May, claiming that the Federal Aviation Administrations regulations for screening passengers and their baggage was the airline's responsibility, not the airport's.

Massport was dismissed from the suit on Wednesday.

"The entire Logan airport community will forever carry in its heart the events of September 11, 2001," said Massport interim CEO David Mackey in a statement released after the dismissal. "Our thoughts and prayers will always be with the victims of that tragic day and their families."

The Bavis family is one of 96 families who opted not to settle through the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, Migliori said. Their lawsuit, which is the last remaining suit brought by family members of 9/11 victims, was filed in 2002.

"There are lessons that can be learned from this and they want those lessons to be viewed and not buried," Migliori said.

The trial is set to start November 7.

CNN's Sheila Steffen contributed to this report