9/11 rescue workers have until Monday to accept $800 million settlement

By Agence France-Presse
Sunday, November 7th, 2010
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/11/911-rescue-workers-vote-800-million-settlement/

Thousands of rescue workers sickened after the September 11 attacks in New York have until the end of Monday to accept a settlement that could near 800 million dollars.

A settlement on Friday saw a subgroup of workers compensated 28 million dollars for exposure to debris removed and transferred from Ground Zero to Staten Island by marine transportation company Weeks Marine.

But US District Court Judge Alvin Hellerstein said in a related order that the plaintiffs could only claim compensation for it if they backed the larger agreement for up to 712.5 million dollars.

That settlement with New York City was reached in June and requires approval from 95 percent of the plaintiffs by 11:59 pm (0459 GMT) on Monday in order to be validated.

The proposed funds would be used for payments to the roughly 10,000 firefighters, health workers, police and other emergency responders who sought legal remedy after falling ill from toxic dust and debris emanating from the destroyed World Trade Center nine years ago.

Paul Napoli, who leads a legal team representing most of the plaintiffs, said he has since brokered additional agreements with other defendants, bringing the total potential compensation to 796.45 million dollars.

And further agreements are still possible, further increasing the amount.

Micheline Tang of Kekst and Company said proposed compensation from different defendants now totals 811.5 million dollars, but noted it could be inaccurate to aggregate the figures because different plaintiffs are suing different defendants.

"In addition, compensation will be determined based on the severity of the injury and the strength of the claim," she told AFP.

Her firm represents the WTC Captive Insurance Company, which will pay the larger settlement out of a federally financed fund.

Lawyers also reached a separate 47.5 million dollar settlement last month with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owned the World Trade Center.

Napoli said he and his colleagues "are very happy we have reached agreements with these defendants, following extensive negotiations that lasted several years."

"Negotiations with remaining defendants have been going on as well and we hope that the latest settlements will encourage those defendants to take this opportunity to resolve the remaining plaintiffs' claims against them in the near future," he added in a statement on Saturday.

In all cases, Hellerstein found the allocation process to be "fair and reasonable."

They are

still trying to buy them off. Looks to me like they are running scared. I wouldn't take a dime of it. I would demand a new investigation. My life would be worth a lot more than money. Lets get to the bottom of this false flag operation and put the people behind it behind bars.

Accept the city settlement or be refused Zadroga benefits

"If Zadroga becomes law, plaintiffs who accept the city settlement will be eligible for its benefits. Those who pursue suits against the city will lose access to Zadroga."

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2010/11/07/2010-11-07_wtc_heroes_set...

This sounds illegal.

How can government benefits be tied to a private lawsuit?

yeah, it does have the ring of blackmail.

i’m wondering:
(a) if the ny daily news' report—that a plaintiff must accept the settlement before being deemed eligible for participation in zadroga—is accurate, and
(b) if the news report is accurate, where is this condition spelled out?

i don’t see any such condition in the text of the bill describing who is eligible for benefits under the zadroga program, here http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?c111:4:./temp/~c111hrBzMV:e76579: and the news doesn’t give any basis for its statement that “Those who pursue suits against the city will lose access to Zadroga.” so where is this statement coming from?

there are requirements in the bill for nyc to make contributions to the program, so maybe nyc will have input into who may participate in zadroga, and is doing some arm twisting as part of its own settlement negotiations.

also wondering what happens if a plaintiff agrees to the settlement before zadroga ever becomes law, and then zadroga doesn't pass the senate and become law. will that plaintiff still be deemed to have given up his/her right to sue individually?

all of this is likely spelled out in the settlement agreement itself, which as far as i know has not been made public.

800 million

800,000,000 / 10000 = 80,000 per person. Those are alms, I think.

that is about the average, but the payouts. . .

..."range from $3,250 to millions of dollars, depending on the severity of sickness and the type of illness," acc to the ny daily news.