Ten Thousand 9/11 Responders' Lawsuits Settled

Awaiting approval by a judge and the workers, the agreement by the WTC Captive Insurance Company will pay as much as $657.5 million to settle the lawsuits claiming dust created by the collapse of the World Trade Centers caused lung damage.

New York City news media reported Thursday night that the WTC Captive Insurance Company had announced it will pay as much as $657.5 million to settle more than 10,000 lawsuits filed by 9/11 responders who say dust created by the collapse of the World Trade Centers caused lung damage. To become final, the settlement requires approval by a federal judge and the workers.

The company was created by a $1 billion FEMA grant to compensate injured city employees and others, including contract workers, firefighters, police, and volunteers. "We have reached a settlement that is fair under difficult and complicated circumstances," said Christine LaSala, president of WTC Captive. "This agreement enables workers and volunteers claiming injury from the WTC site operations to obtain compensation commensurate with the nature of their injuries and the strength of their claims, while offering added protection against possible future illness. WTC Captive acknowledges the hard work and diligence of [U.S. District] Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein and his Special Masters in overseeing this litigation, and the preparation of an injury severity chart that assisted the parties in their negotiation and created a foundation for settlement."

In a statement, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the settlement "will allow the first responders and workers to be compensated for injuries suffered following their work at Ground Zero." He called it "a fair and reasonable resolution to a complex set of circumstances," adding, "Since September 11th, the City has moved aggressively to provide medical treatment to those who were present at Ground Zero, and we will continue our commitment to treatment and monitoring."

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