Over 9,000 injured Ground Zero workers may get a boost in their settlements, according to NewYorkTimes.com. Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, thousands of workers helped clean up debris. Over 9,000 of those workers have reported illnesses that have been linked to exposure from toxic dust and debris. Those workers sued the city, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and the city’s contractors.
The workers have been in negotiations with the city and are now trying to decide whether to accept a $712.5 million settlement. Just this month, the Port Authority has offered another $47 million in a separate settlement. The workers have until November 8 to accept the $712.5 million settlement. Once the settlement with Port Authority is approved with the board of commissioners, workers will have 60 days to opt into the settlement. The settlement will only be valid if 80 to 95 percent of the plaintiffs approve it. About 75 percent of the workers have agreed to the large settlement with the city. That settlement requires 95 percent of the workers to agree in order to become effective.
Workers will receive payments based on the severity of their medical problems. Those with fewer medical problems will receive payments of either $2,000, $2,500 or $3,000 from the Port Authority settlement, while those with the most severe problems could receive much larger amounts. In addition to the settlement awards, Congress may set aside money to monitor and treat the workers’ medical problems as well as to compensate them for losses.