The Associated Press
updated 9/10/2003 3:30:10 AM ET 2003-09-10T07:30:10

American Airlines, United Airlines and Boeing said Tuesday they will appeal a ruling of a federal judge’s earlier announced decision to allow Sept. 11 lawsuits to proceed.

“WE CONTINUE TO believe that we are not liable for the events that occurred that day,” said American Airlines spokesman Todd Burke in a statement. “In recognition of that, Congress passed legislation immediately after the terrorist attacks to compensate victims. We believe that is the fairest, most efficient method for compensating these individuals. We are therefore disappointed in this ruling.

American is the world’s largest airline and is a unit of Fort Worth, Texas-based AMR Corp.

A spokesperson for United, the world’s second-largest airline, said: “While United Airlines does not believe that it was our legal responsibility to protect the ground victims of these attacks, that does not leave the families of those who lost their lives that day without a remedy. Those families can make claims for compensation from the Victim’s Compensation Fund.”

Boeing announced plans to appeal the decision, saying the company was not negligent.

“As far as we’re concerned, the issue is terrorism, not negligence,” said Boeing spokeswoman Liz Verdier. Boeing, the world’s largest manufacturer of aircraft, made all four planes hijacked in the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

Two of the planes were operated by United Airlines and two by American Airlines.

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