NY judge prefers open records in Sept. 11 cases

(AP) - A federal judge who rejected a Sept. 11 healthsettlement says he would prefer more open records in litigationstemming from the World Trade Center attack and might even considerunsealing all records.

Judge Alvin Hellerstein commented Thursday after hearing lawyersargue whether a settlement related to claims of property damagesresulting from the terrorist attacks should be public.

A settlement of most of the property claims has been kept secretwhile Hellerstein decides what should be put on the public record.

Lawyers for insurance companies that have settled have arguedfor secrecy, saying it was a private deal involving sophisticatedcommercial plaintiffs.

A lawyer for developer Larry Silverstein, who has not settledproperty claims, has argued that the settlement be made public.

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