E-Mail Could Decide Amount of Insurance to Rebuild Towers

Billions of dollars of insurance to rebuild the World Trade Center could depend on a single e-mail, according to lawyers for Larry Silverstein, the developer who controlled the property.

In legal papers to be filed as early as Friday, Silverstein's lawyers point to an e-mail exchange between two insurance executives that they say entitles the developer to $7 billion worth of coverage.

Silverstein's insurance provided about $3.5 billion of coverage for each "occurrence."

The developer and his lawyers argue that each airplane crash marked a separate occurrence, with a $7 billion payout.

But Swiss Re, one of the roughly 25 companies that insured the Twin Towers, says the events of Sept. 11 were a coordinated attack - one occurrence. Last week, Swiss Re filed a lawsuit against Silverstein to limit his coverage to $3.5 billion.

The future of the Trade Center site could depend on the outcome.