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.
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.
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
(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
(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…
Seven years after the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center, a Manhattan federal judge set the first trial date for lawsuits that were filed by the WTC rescue and recovery workers that claimed they got sick from the aftermath air of the WTC 9/11 attacks. Judge Alvin Hellerstein set the trial dates to begin May 17, 2010 and will begin with only a few of those workers that are the sickest. This represents only about 30 cases in comparison to the over 9,000 cases that were filed. Among the claims filed were over 200 defendants with some 387 illnesses and diseases reported. Defendants include firefighters, construction workers and police officers that suffered injuries from toxic smoke and crumbling rubble. Hellerstein explained that the first trial date was given to those with first priority, the WTC cleanup and recovery crews that were injured the worst in the cleanup. Hellerstein stated that they had the most need for monetary recovery.
Hellerstein expressed belief in the fact that favorable verdicts and settlements in these first 30 cases will pave the way for hundreds of other cases to reach out of court settlements and thereby avoid having to wait years for their respective court trials. These initial trials will help answer the complicated questions as to whether or not the defendant’s exposure to Ground Zero conditions caused their illnesses. Another question that will hopefully be answered with these trials is whether or not New York City and their contractors for the WTC can share some of the blame when it comes to rescue worker protection and safety.
As to whether or not there will be any funds to pay for these lawsuit settlements, only time will tell. Congress gave the city of New York $1 billion to pay for rescue and cleanup worker claims. However, $191 million has already been spent by legal and other costs. In addition, reports have been surfacing that $14 million of that fund was recently lost in bond investments.
At a previous hearing, Hellerstein said that he preferred to keep secret over a million pages of 9/11 documents. Families of 9/11 victims have been trying to create a public record of the security lapses that allowed the WTC attacks. He explained that his first goal was to set these trial dates for the families who rejected the money from the federal Victims' Compensation Fund. He decided not to rule on the motion to lift the order that presently keeps these documents secret.
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