Judge Hellerstein Accepts $712 Million Settlement for Ground Zero Workers
Judge Hellerstein of the United States District Court in Manhattan, New York, offered a strong endorsement for the new settlement. Part of the reason for the Judge's support came after attorneys agreed to reduce their fees from 33% to 25%. "It's not perfect, but it's very, very good," Hellerstein said.
The case began in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack and the years of cleanup that followed. Thousands of workers filed lawsuits against the city and private contractors over illnesses related to their work. They argued they were inadequately equipped for the dangers of the work, such as the risks posed by the particulate matter in the air.
Both the city attorneys and plaintiffs' attorneys spoke highly of the new settlement, after previously expressing anger with Judge Hellerstein's judicial activism. It is now up to the plaintiffs themselves, who must approve the settlement by a 95% margin. According to the New York Times, payments will range from about $3,000 for plaintiffs who are valid class members but did not suffer an injury, to $2 million for survivors of those workers whose death can be linked to their presence at ground zero.
- Ground Zero Deal Gives Plaintiffs $712.5 Million (New York Times)
- NYC, Victims Settle at $657M in World Trade Center Lawsuit (FindLaw's Decided)
- Asbestos & Mesothelioma (FindLaw's Injury Center)
- An Overview of Workers' Compensation Cases (provided by Jensen & DeHaan, PC)
- When Personal Injuries Result in Death: Wrongful Death Cases (provided by Law Firm of Victoria T. Ferrara, P.C.)