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Deutsche Bank Sues Insurers Over Gutted Tower

The fate of a derelict office tower near Ground Zero has led Deutsche Bank to file suit against two of its insurers.

The suit, filed today in Manhattan against Allianz AG and AXA SA, seeks to force insurers to pay for demolishing the 41-story office tower, which was Deutsche Bank’s New York office.

On 9/11, the building — 130 Liberty Street — sustained heavy damage from falling debris. The insurers insist that the property can be salvaged for half the cost of demolition.

Two other insurers — Chubb Corp. and Zurich Financial Services AG — have agreed to pay a combined $520 million to raze the building. Still, AXA and Allianz have maintained that the extensive damage can be repaired for less.

Deutsche Bank’s lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages from the two insurers. AXA and Allianz have estimated that 130 Liberty sustained roughly $500 million worth of damage on 9/11.

The building was lacerated by debris on 9/11 that left its interior exposed to the elements for weeks. The inside was gutted months ago, and anyone who enters the building must don a chemical protection suit.

Lower Manhattan rebuilding officials expect the building to be demolished. They want to use the site for new office space around the former World Trade Center site.

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