Ground Zero workers settlement unfair: judge

Ground Zero workers settlement unfair: judge
By Agence France-Presse
Friday, March 19th, 2010 -- 6:11 pm

NEW YORK (AFP) – A proposed 657-million-dollar health settlement for some 10,000 people who worked at Ground Zero after the September 11 attacks was too low and must be renegotiated, a judge ruled Friday.

"In my judgment, this settlement is not enough," federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein said in New York after hearing two hours of testimony from plaintiffs in the huge case.

"There are some questions that have to be addressed," he added, calling for "additional negotiations to come up with a fair deal."

Last week, a preliminary deal was announced in which a government-funded insurance company would compensate more than 10,000 people claiming health problems from their work in the toxic debris of the World Trade Center, which was destroyed in the 2001 attacks.

The deal needs the court's approval to go ahead, as well as the backing of 95 percent of plaintiffs. They would have 90 days to review the proposal before making a decision.

Hellerstein singled out payment of lawyers' fees, which are expected to amount to some 200 million dollars or more -- about a third of the compensation package.

The judge said the insurance company, not the plaintiffs should foot the attorneys' bill. "The fees should be paid by the Captive Insurance" company, he said.

"Plaintiffs should know what they would get at the end of the day to make an intelligent decision."

At the hearing, a majority of plaintiffs testified in support of the proposal.

"I think it is a fair and accurate determination," said Michael Damato, a partially disabled laborer who said he earned 140,000 dollars a year before his stint at Ground Zero and now only earned 40,000 dollars.

Another witness, police officer Candice Baker, who said she suffered from breast cancer and had been operated on five times, asked Hellerstein to be "as sympathetic, as compassionate as possible. That is all I can ask."

The judge answered: "I promise."

A new hearing was scheduled for April 12.

Original Story:

Open door?

It appears, possibly, judge Hellerstein is quietly indicating 911 issues are actually important.

It could be a good opportunity for NY TM to approach Hellerstein with well prepared, substantiated legal claims to reopen a new investigation. In many ways, directly and/or indirectly, a new investigation would allow to show whats in the WTC powder, most notably superthermite. If small iron spheres, red&gray chips, etc are in the tissues of WTC workers lungs and making them ill, the people who put the superthermite in WTC should be held accountable.

This process will need further medical review to prove these compounds cause breakdown of human cellular composition.

Alvin Hellerstein

Dear scubadiver- Thanks for the link. He has been active with ACLU in acquiring CIA documents re: Gitmo torture. How the CIA can simply destroy 92 video tapes and get away is s clear sign of the times. Nonetheless, Judge Hellerstein has done his part in directing proper legal protocol assisting causes for 9/11 truth. I think he really does care.

The time is now. NY TM groups need to get with ACLU and get 911 workers to offer tissue samples. The doctors need to look distinctly for iron spheres, red/gray chips, aluminium, etc. They need to determine if these levels exist and are indeed toxic.

Hurray for judge Hellerstein

He must feel guilty about shutting down every other avenue of investigation into 9/11.

$657 million just won't do it.

Alvin Hellerstein?

I have doubted his sincerity in establishing

real law & order to 9.11, but the right professional people in our movement, should approach him & present the facts & see where he is @.