A jury ruled Wednesday that the Port Authority was negligent in the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 -- a long-awaited legal victory for victims of an attack that killed six people and wounded 1,000 eight years before terrorists brought down the buildings.
The six-person jury ruled that the Port Authority, the agency that owned the World Trade Center, was negligent by not properly maintaining the parking garage where terrorists detonated more than a half-ton of explosives in a Ryder van. Separate trials will now be held to determine money damages for 400 individuals.
The jury took one day to reach its verdict after the four-week trial.
The trial cast the spotlight on an attack that was overshadowed after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The 1993 noontime blast blew a crater in the garage, filled the building with smoke, wrecked the towers' power and emergency systems, and spread fear across New York.
The verdict came after almost 12 years of legal delays in the civil case. The Port Authority's last appeal, to try to get the case thrown out, was rejected last year, clearing the way for the trial.
The agency vowed to appeal.
Six people were convicted and sentenced to life in prison in criminal court for their roles in the bombing. Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, the reputed mastermind, said at sentencing: "Yes, I am a terrorist and I am proud of it."