$657M Settlement Reached With Ground Zero Workers

By Sadie Bass

Mar 12, 2010 2:30pm

ABC's Aaron Katersky reports: An insurance company handling the claims for the City of New York, and Ground Zero workers all hailed an agreement reached Thursday on health care costs.  “We believe that the compensation to each of the clients will be fair and just for the men and women who performed their duties at Ground Zero heroically and without any thought when they went down there of any compensation,” said Marc Bern, an attorney who represents thousands of plaintiffs. Lawyers for the city and the plaintiffs returned to Judge Alvin Hellerstein of the Southern District of New York Friday afternoon to discuss the terms of the settlement, which call for litigants to split as much as $657 million according to the severity of their illnesses.  The judge put off a decision on the settlement until a hearing next week. “We’re just delighted that we’ve been able to resolve this case in a way that is fair and reasonable to everyone concerned,” said Michael Cardozo, Corporation Counsel for the City of New York.  The settlement comes after more than six years of negotiations and includes money for first responders who may develop certain kinds of cancer in the future.  “The benefit for that coverage is, under certain circumstances, up to $100,000 dollars,” said Christine LaSala, CEO of the WTC Captive Insurance Company, which is funded by federal money to cover the risks incurred in the aftermath of 9/11.

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