The suit, brought by 17 family members of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that brought down the World Trade Center towers, claimed the city had improperly disposed of the debris without first removing hundreds of human remains, the New York Post reported Tuesday.
"Not every wrong can be addressed through the judicial process," Judge Alvin Hellerstein said in his ruling. "The grave harm suffered by the plaintiffs in this case is undeniable. But the jurisdiction of a court is limited."
The plaintiffs expressed disappointment with the ruling.
"We're extremely disappointed. The 9/11 family members fought to rectify an egregious wrong that occurred regarding the disposal of human remains," said Norman Siegel, a lawyer for WTC Families for a Proper Burial.
"We are not prepared to leave hundreds of human remains of 9/11 victims on top of a garbage dump as their final resting place," Siegel said.
The city had argued that many bodies had been removed from the debris and any human remains still among the rubble would be too small for identification.