Judge Rejects Lawsuit to search for human remains in WTC, New York
The federal judge on Monday rejected a request by relatives of 9/11 victims to sift through tons of debris from the Fresh Kills landfill in Staten Island. They wanted to search for the human remains of their loved ones who perished in 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The judge, Alvin K. Hellerstein of Federal District Court in Manhattan, said that he would deny the request, praising the city for undertaking the “herculean job of repairing the gaping hole in our society,” and saying that nothing — not even the upheaval of 1.8 million tons of landfill debris — would ever return the dead to their families.
The families told that the dust may contain human remains of their loved ones, and they want it to be relocated to a new cemetery.
Norman Siegel, a Civil Rights attorney for one of the families, said he was “extremely disappointed” in Judge Hellerstein’s decision and would consider an appeal. “We are not prepared to have hundreds of human remains from victims of the 9/11 attacks have their final resting place on top of a garbage dump,” he said.
“All human remains that could be identified, were identified,” the judge wrote. “Only dust remains.”
The city’s Law Department released a statement saying, in part:
“This decision recognizes the New York City’s tremendous efforts to recover the remains and personal effects of those lost on 9/11 terrorist strikes. It is our hope that the park planned for Fresh Kills, will help us remember those who we lost, and forever serve as a tribute to freedom and liberty.”
An Attorney for the families were disappointed with the ruling and said that they will file an appeal.