March 12th, 2010
06:31 PM ET

Judge postpones decision on Ground Zero settlement

A New York judge postponed a decision Friday on a proposed $657 million settlement for people who became ill after working on the World Trade Center site after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The settlement, announced Thursday, would cover about 10,000 plaintiffs, said Marc Bern, one of the lawyers representing the workers.

The postponement appeared to take attorneys - and Mayor Michael Bloomberg - by surprise. Attorneys for both sides and the mayor earlier made statements assuming the proposal would be approved by U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein.

The judge is particularly interested in making sure the attorneys' cut of the settlement is equitable for all parties.

"This will not be a giveaway," Hellerstein said Friday. "This will be a fair and just settlement."

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