Thursday, May 11, 2006

Shareholder Proposal: Insurer to Investigate 9/11

A proposal by a small shareholder to withhold approval from the Board of Directors for failure to investigate signs of insurance fraud on 9/11 has been published on the website of the Allianz Group, one of the world’s largest insurers, in preparation for its May 4th annual meeting.

(PRWEB) May 2, 2005 -- Allianz Group published a shareholder proposal on April 20th faulting management for ignoring signs of insurance fraud on /11/2001. Allianz carried a significant portion of the insurance coverage on the WTC, and stands to pay a corresponding portion of the $3.5 billion payout currently being litigated in New York. In his proposal, shareholder John Leonard, a California native and a publisher of books on 9/11, pointed to reports that building WTC 7 apparently collapsed by demolition, and for no plausible reason related to the 9/11 attacks. Management replied that it relied on official US government reports which made no mention of such evidence.

The Allianz Group is incorporated in Germany and has approximately 570,000 shareholders. Under German Stock Companies law, publicly held companies are
required to publish shareholder proposals that meet certain criteria.

It is interesting that usually sceptical and thorough insurance companies are not waiting for this investigation to be complete before paying out on this enormous claim. The government reports which the insurance companies are relying upon are the many volumes of the "NIST NCSTAR 1: Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Final Report of the National Construction Safety Team on the Collapses of the World Trade Center Tower" which was published in September 2005. However, a final report for WTC7 has not yet been done. The NIST website page for the NCSTAR 1 report indicates that the final report on the collapse of WTC 7 will appear in a separate report (that webpage was last updated 4/26/2006).

Apparently, the investigation of the WTC7 collapse was not performed along with the WTC 1 and 2 investigations because of staffing (and funding) shortfalls. Understandable that NIST would have resourcing challenges, as they do a lot of other work besides these WTC collapse investigations. However, as with the 911 Commission (of omissions and distortions), clearly the lack of funding is a political decision, as the US has lots of money for bridges to nowhere in Alaska and throw around Afghanistan and Iraq.

Shyam Sunder, Lead Technical Investigator of National Construction Safety Team for WTC Investigation, has admitted many times publically that the cause of collapse of WTC7 is proving to be difficult to determine (without considering demolition).

Journalist Janelle Nanos describes her meeting with Shyam Sunder in her article in New York magazine "The Ground Zero Grassy Knoll" which is discussed in a previous post .

I asked Dr. Sunder about 7 WTC. Why was the fate of the building barely mentioned in the final report?

This was a matter of staffing and budget, Sunder said. He hoped to release something on 7 WTC by the end of the year.

NIST did have some “preliminary hypotheses” on 7 WTC, Dr. Sunder said. “We are studying the horizontal movement east to west, internal to the structure, on the fifth to seventh floors.”

Then Dr. Sunder paused. “But truthfully, I don’t really know. We’ve had trouble getting a handle on building No. 7.”

Nanos also describes her own intimate, and life threatening, experience with the collapse of WTC7,

Hours later, I sat down beside another, impossibly weary firefighter. Covered with dust, he was drinking a bottle of Poland Spring water. Half his squad was missing. They’d gone into the South Tower and never come out. Then, almost as a
non sequitur, the fireman indicated the building in front of us, maybe 400 yards away.

"That building is coming down," he said with a drained casualness.

"Really?" I asked. At 47 stories, it would be a skyscraper in most cities, centerpiece of the horizon. But in New York, it was nothing but a nondescript box with fire coming out of the windows. "When?"

"Tonight . . . Maybe tomorrow morning."

This was around 5:15 p.m. I know because five minutes later, at 5:20, the building, 7 World Trade Center, crumbled.


I screamed, unsure which way to run, because who knows which way these things fall. As it turned out, I wasn’t in any danger, since 7 WTC appeared to drop straight down. I still have dreams about the moment. Even then, the event is oddly undramatic, just a building falling.

There are many more such incidences of foreknowledge of the towers' collapses. Lets hope that Janelle Nanos told her WTC7 story to Shyam Sunder. Lets hope that those insurance companies listen to accounts such as Janelle Nanos', because they clearly indicate that further investigation into WTC7 is required before someone should be paid out.


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