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Settlement Talks in 9/11 Emergency Responder Lawsuits

Feb 5, 2010 | Parker Waichman LLP

Media sources are reporting that settlement talks are underway in thousands of lawsuits brought by rescue workers who helped in rescue and recovery efforts at Ground Zero in the weeks following the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.

At least 9,000 Ground Zero rescue workers have filed suit against 90 government and private entities, claiming that contaminants at the site made them ill. Plaintiffs claim that inadequate safeguards were taken to prevent them from becoming ill. Defendants include the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Plaintiffs include firefighters, police officers, and construction workers.

According to a report in The New York Law Journal, the lawsuits allege as many as 325 illnesses, including 57 types of cancer were caused by toxins at the site. The first of the lawsuits are scheduled to go to trial in May.

According to a report in The New York Times, Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein, who is overseeing the litigation, said at a recent hearing that a detailed settlement plan had been drafted, and that “there have been intensive discussions going on looking to settlements of individual cases and globally of all cases”.

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