Photo Courtesy AP/Seth Wenig

A Manhattan judge took a significant step yesterday toward bringing to trial the first round of lawsuits stemming primarily from workers who became sick from their involvement with Ground Zero. Right now almost 10,000 of those cases are on hold as the city awaits for medical records to be turned over. Those records are not required to be completed until 2011.

Federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein laid out a new case management plan that would move around sixty of those cases to the front of the pack so they could be heard as soon as Spring 2010. Hellerstein was originally going to set only the most severe cases to be heard first, but instead half of the first batch will be a random sampling of the suits. The Times says that some of the cases involve "nothing more than a common cold, or no illness at all" according to the city. Their lawyer James Tyrrell told the Post that this system will let the all involved "see how much is a good case worth and how much is a bad case worth."

In other news from the site, today the first artifact was moved to The National September 11th Memorial and Museum. The "survivors' staircase" was transported to its new spot where it will serve as an entrance pavilion to the below-ground museum, set to open in 2012. The staircase was an escape route for many attempting to get out of the World Trade Center during the 9/11 attacks.