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World Trade Center Litigation

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Legal News

  • World Trade Center Settlement Gets Backing Needed to Take Effect
    – New York Law Journal
    (November 22, 2010) Enough plaintiffs have accepted a massive settlement of claims alleging respiratory and other health problems from the post-9/11 response and cleanup at the World Trade Center site to seal the deal. Read more…

  • 10,563 Ground Zero 9/11 Workers Agree On $625 Million Settlement
    – Medical News Today
    (November 21, 2010) 10,563 ground zero workers who inhaled toxic dust and risked health consequences have agreed on a $625 settlement and ceased suing - the amount could go as high as $815 million.
    Read more…

  • 9/11 Health Deal Gets OK
    – The Wall Street Journal
    (November 20, 2010) More than 95% of Ground Zero workers agreed to accept a settlement of long-running litigation over respiratory diseases and other injuries suffered in recovery operations following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack.
    Read more…

  • Deal settles most lawsuits over WTC toxic dust
    – The Associated Press (AP)
    (November 19, 2010) A deal reached by New York City and workers exposed to toxic dust that blanketed ground zero after Sept. 11 will resolve an overwhelming majority of the lawsuits over the city's failure to provide protective equipment to the responders. Read more…

  • Ground Zero workers exposed to toxic dust take pay deal
    – BBC
    (November 19, 2010) Thousands of workers exposed to toxic dust after the 2001 terror attacks in New York have accepted a legal settlement and ceased litigation. Read more…

  • Lawyers: Sickened 9/11 Workers Reach Settlement Deal With City
    – NY1
    (November 19, 2010) By Friday, more than 10,000 people who became ill from working conditions at the World Trade Center site following the September 11th terrorist attacks had accepted a settlement deal with the city. Read more…

Breaking News!

Parties Appeal Judge’s Order Blocking Settlement of WTC Rescue, Recovery and Debris Removal Claims

(New York, New York—April 14, 2010) –Attorneys for the City and its contractors in more than 10,000 cases alleging injury from the rescue, recovery and debris removal operations after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center site appealed several orders by Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York which are blocking the parties’ ability to choose to settle these cases. Through his orders, the Judge inserted himself into a private settlement which in many instances would provide hundreds of thousands of dollars and more in the most serious cases, to plaintiffs alleging injury.

“After two years of difficult negotiations, the parties reached a settlement that provides fair and just compensation for deserving plaintiffs,” said James E. Tyrrell, Jr., attorney for the City and the contractors it hired for the operations. “While we respect the Judge’s views, his orders are impeding the progress we have made and are destroying the ability to provide compensation now to deserving plaintiffs through a settlement process. We also believe this settlement provides a pathway to obtain additional compensation from other parties who have not joined the settlement.”

“While we appreciate and are considering the comments Judge Hellerstein has raised, we believe the Judge does not have the legal authority to order the terms of a settlement for these parties. His orders demanding that he advise the parties and approve the selection of the allocation neutral and medical panel, in addition to conducting a fairness hearing, are blocking plaintiffs’ rights to choose to settle these cases,” said James E. Tyrrell, Jr., attorney for the City and the contractors it hired for the operations. “We have no choice but to appeal those orders and to let the plaintiffs decide whether to choose a settlement that provides compensation based on the fair values placed on the claims by both the plaintiffs’ and the defendants’ lawyers. Those values took into account the injuries claimed, legal and scientific issues and defenses that would be raised against those claims, and the cost, length and uncertainty of litigation which could take a court many years to schedule and decide given the huge number of individual cases. In addition, while the settlement will provide compensation to all plaintiffs, in continued litigation at least some of the plaintiffs face a real risk of receiving nothing.”

Specifically, the City and its contractors appealed an order issued on March 15, 2010 in which the Judge acknowledged the settlement did not provide for judicial supervision over the appointment of an Allocation Neutral and the panel of physicians assisting it to assess claims, but nevertheless instructed the parties “not to engage, or commit to engage, or continue to engage, any individuals or entities to fill such positions without advice to, and approval by, the Court.” In a March 19, 2010 hearing the Judge stated, “I want judicial control over this process.”

“In this case, the parties have tried to address concerns that were raised but the Judge’s statements and actions, together with his refusal to even consider other viewpoints, have made it necessary to appeal his rulings so that the plaintiffs and defendants can proceed with a settlement they consider fair and reasonable,” said Michael Cardozo, Corporation Counsel for the City of New York. “Without this, we will not be able to obtain a settlement that provides compensation, certainty and closure to the parties after years of litigation.”

Attorneys for the City and its contractors are also appealing two other rulings related to their Settlement Process Agreement (“SPA”). First, they are appealing a March 23 order that revised the parties’ agreed schedule for implementing their settlement. Second, they are appealing an April 9 order setting a “fairness” hearing that the court has no power to conduct. Each of these orders delayed and obstructed compensation for the plaintiffs and closure for all settling parties.


To Read More About The Settlement In The News Click On The Links Below
#2006 Order court approval required re judicial supervision appointment of the Allocation Nuetral
#2023 Memo Endorsed Letter re request to provide plaintiff eligibility list objections denied 03-23-10
#2041 Order adjourning fairness hearing re settlement agreement to April 27, 2010 - 04-09-10
notice of Appeal - Final
Notice of Motion
Motion to Stay Brief