The long-running dispute over payments to those sickened when by toxic dust and more while working during the recovery and cleanup effort at Ground Zero is over: 10,043 plaintiffs—which present 95% of the eligible plaintiffs—have agreed to accept a settlement worth at least $625 million compensation. This means their lawsuits against NYC and other contractors will be dismissed.
In March, a $657 million settlement was announced, but a judge questioned the legal fees (especially given that one firm represent over 9,400 plaintiffs). Then, in June, federal judge Alvin Hellerstein approved the settlement, saying that it was "fair," though not "perfect... I wish there was enough money so that anybody that had any kind of injury got compensated just because he was a hero on 9/11."
Mayor Bloomberg said, "This settlement is a fair and just resolution of these claims, protecting those who came to the aid of this City when we needed it most.We will continue our commitment to treatment and monitoring of those who were present at Ground Zero. This settlement can also help encourage the Senate to follow the lead of their colleagues in the House of Representatives and pass the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which will now be a less expensive proposition due to the payments made under this settlement agreement.”