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Renegotiated WTC Settlement Would Pay $712.5 Million, Reduces Legal Fees

Jun 10, 2010 | Parker Waichman LLP

There might finally be some resolution in thousands of lawsuits involving sick Word Trade Center rescue worker.  A newly negotiated settlement is  slated to be proposed to Federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein, who is overseeing the lawsuits,  in New York City this morning.

NBC New York is reporting that attorneys have agreed to reduce their fees from 33 percent to 25 percent of the settlement, while WTC Captive Insurance has agreed to add a minimum of $50 million more to the pot for victim compensation. That number could go up to $100 million depending on how many clients agree to accept the settlement, the report said.

The New York Times is reporting that the new settlement amounts to $712.5 Million

Since 2003, upwards of 10,000 firefighters, police officers, construction workers and emergency responders have filed lawsuits against 90 defendants over illnesses they say were caused by exposure to toxic dust at Ground Zero following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. They allege that the defendants, including New York City, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and construction companies, failed to adequately supervise and protect them with safety equipment during rescue and clean-up efforts.

A $657.5 million settlement announced in March would have paid individual plaintiffs anywhere from $3,200 to $2 million, before attorney fees, in exchange for dropping their suits. Payouts for the settlement were to come from WTC Captive Insurance, an entity created with $1 billion federal grant that provides insurance coverage to the City of New York and its debris-removal contractors.

When it was proposed, Judge Hellerstein objected to some of its provisions and ordered the settlement to be renegotiated. Among other things, he said legal fees had to be lowered and paid by WTC Captive over and above what was paid to injured plaintiffs.

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