Tags: US | Attacks | Health

Deadline Extended for Ground Zero Responders

Wednesday, 25 Aug 2010 07:43 PM


Thousands of ground zero responders are being given more time to decide whether to settle lawsuits over their exposure to potentially toxic dust from the ruins of the World Trade Center, lawyers in the case said Wednesday.

The lawyers said they have scrapped a deadline that gave rescue and response workers until Sept. 8 to join or reject a settlement worth as much as $713 million.

The nearly 10,000 police officers, firefighters, and construction and utility workers involved in the suits will now get until Nov. 8 to make a decision.

The special insurance entity representing New York City in the litigation said the extension was needed because of "unexpected logistical delays" in implementing the settlement, which was tentatively reached in June.

Workers who join the settlement will agree to drop their legal claims against New York City and the demolition companies that handled the ground zero cleanup. In exchange, they would get payments ranging from a few thousand dollars to more than $1 million as compensation for illnesses caused by the dust.

More money would go to people who can show that exposure to trade center toxins made them gravely ill. People who aren't sick now, but worry that they might fall ill later, will get smaller amounts of money.

For the deal to take effect, 95 percent of plaintiffs in the case must vote to join the settlement.

So far, their response has been running favorable, but was largely incomplete.

More than 5,000 people have already said yes to the deal, according to the WTC Captive Insurance Co., the insurance entity created by Congress to defend the city against 9/11-related litigation. That accounts for about half of all eligible workers.

"Less than one-half of one percent" have rejected the settlement, the company said. That would amount to about 50 people.

The rest of the workers involved in the case have yet to respond.

"We are encouraged by the thousands of plaintiffs who have already opted in, but we decided to extend the deadline to make sure every plaintiff has ample time and information to make an informed decision," WTC Captive President and CEO Christine LaSala said in a statement.

She said more time was needed for plaintiffs to speak with their attorneys. Some did not get letters outlining how much money they stood to receive under the deal until a few weeks ago, and many have yet to meet with their lawyers.

Other factors in the delay included new squabbles over how much the legal team handling the bulk of the workers' suits will be able to charge in fees and expenses.

© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

FBI Probes Powdery Substance Mailed to Franklin Graham Charity

Friday, 30 Jan 2015 22:56 PM

The FBI Friday said it was investigating a letter containing a white powdery substance that was mailed to the headquarte . . .

Report: FBI Had Secret Cold War Plan for Martial Law

Friday, 30 Jan 2015 22:45 PM

The FBI reportedly came up with a top-secret, though short-lived, plan for preserving national security in case of a nuc . . .

Americans Love Lower Gas Prices, but They're Pocketing Savings

Friday, 30 Jan 2015 22:26 PM

Americans are saving about $60 a month from lower gas prices - but they're not spending much of it. The Wall Street Jour . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved