November 19th, 2010
02:01 PM ET

NYC, 9/11 first responders finalize settlement

A settlement in New York City will pay out hundreds of millions of dollars to ground zero workers exposed to toxic debris after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, lawyers said Friday.

Plaintiffs narrowly approved the deal after facing a Tuesday night deadline that required 95 percent of some 10,000 people who worked at ground zero to approve the measure, according to Marc Berns, an attorney for the plaintiffs.

The agreement concludes a seven-year fight between the city and first responders, who have said they were not properly outfitted for rescue and cleanup efforts after the 9/11 attacks, leaving them exposed to toxic dust that later prompted respiratory health issues.

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Filed under: Health • New York • September 11
soundoff (179 Responses)
  1. Tony

    see this is where our taxpayers money should go, these men and woman deserve it they risked their lives

    November 19, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Taxpayer

      Really? Isn't it in their job description? Why should they be paid again. Waste of money. If they didn't want to risk their lives they should have found a different job. God Bless America.

      November 19, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      yeah ...so the tax payer money actually goes mostly to the lawyer ...this law firm made about 234 million .....

      November 19, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sybaris

      Exactly. It's like saying, "I'll play for the cool uniform, benefits, and pay but to actually respond to a disaster, that'll cost extra."

      It's as stupid as the 9/11 family compensation fund.

      November 19, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • 5T1V roma

      Matt where did you get that information and is it that guy ken feinberg?

      November 19, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Should we pay the FIRST RESPONDERS who entered into , Germamy. Viet Nam, Somalia, Irag etc.etc. I understand the is a touchy subject, but it does fall into there job description.

      November 19, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • John C

      Anyone that thinks the first responders job description was to run into the burning building on 9/11 is a complete and total idiot. There has never been a clearer example of above and beyond. How Embarrassing that we have such ignorant, self centered people criticizing those that were so willing to risk their lives for complete strangers.

      November 19, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      I would chastise people for not reading the article, but what article? Nice job CNN. They are suing because they were told by the city that the air quality was fine, when it was full of asbestos and toxic chemcials. Some of them have died since then from lung disorders. These people went above and beyond to help and didn't sign up for being fooled into getting lung cancer. For all those holier than thou people who don't want praise for thier work, yet take the time to point out their selflessness to everyone, you're all hypocrites, so please shut up already.

      November 19, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Buck

      Its their job to do that. They signed up to do a dangerous job. I do not get compensated at my job even though I
      breathe in dust and particles at my foundry job. COme on , get real

      November 19, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Breal123

      How can you say God Bless America and make a comment like that. These people risked their lives and recieved nothing for it. The least we can do is make sure they can live to recieve the dishonor you so aptly give them. You are a disgrace, along with all the other "Me" Party people out there.

      November 19, 2010 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • jazzgeeks

      I just want to reply to this guy .....

      "Really? Isn't it in their job description? Why should they be paid again. Waste of money. If they didn't want to risk their lives they should have found a different job. God Bless America."

      are you a feegin idiot ????????????

      November 19, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • realworld

      John C, are most of the people police, firefighters and EMTs respond to their friends? BTW, Counsel Financial et al invested $35 million to fund this lawsuit. They earned $11 million. Helping fund lawsuits has become an investment for large banks, hedge funds and private investors.

      November 19, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • conoclast

      "Taxpayer" Next time your house is on fire be sure to shoot the first-responders for trespassing! And keep all your doors & windows bolted lest the liberals come for your guns, fer godsake!

      November 19, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • kthr

      Why? It was their job. We have had how many men who were in the military die from asbestos, never saw them getting paid, in fact, Medicare makes them pay them back, if they used medicare for treatment.
      Many occupations carry risk, thats the way it goes. Military who went to Iraq etc got sick also. There has been agent orange etc. what does suing help? They have free medical, that should be enough.

      November 19, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      It's part of the job description. And to those saying that it's not part of the job description to run in to a burning building, let me ask you this....how many do you think would have gone in if they thought the buildings could have fallen? I guarantee you that it never crossed their minds.

      Also, what makes the dust of these buildings so toxic and dust from other demolition not as toxic?

      November 19, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • ya boy "P"

      These people are called "hero" and made out to be martyrs for 9/11. Part of being a firefighter, policeman, etc. means you have a good chance of being burned or shot. You know what you're signing up for. Why not just make them all millionaires and set them up for life? What do firefighters do 90% of the time they are on the clock? Fight fires? NO! They "lay up" at the firehouse sleeping, watching TV, playing video games, and feeding their fat asses! They are already on the gravy train and still want more! Why not give that 700 million to people starving and living in homeless shelters across this country due to the economy? Money would be better spent that way! HOLLA at ya boy! "P"

      November 19, 2010 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • tIm

      This is madness, these are Americans, I don't understand how Americans can speak so coldly about fellow Americans who are willing to put their own lives at risk to save yours if it came down to it. You can tell times are bad when Americans are willing to throw fellow Americans under the bus especially Americans of this caliber. It's not like these people degenerates, these are first responders, now unable to work due to respiratory problems as a result of their heroic actions. And instead of directing our aggression at the individuals responsible, and viewing this sort of thing as a long term result of an act of terrorism, you all want to argue that we should leave these people to fend for themselves, and that's the difference between them and you.

      November 19, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Styx

      They all deserve Medals of Honor....however, no one forced them into their jobs, they choose their jobs by choice knowing that they could face this kind of situation. So now they sue the City of NYC for doing their job????
      What about our Military??? Can you imagine Military sueing the US Govt for doing combat???
      SHAME on you First Responders!!!!!!!!!!!! Take your money and get out of the city service!

      November 19, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      For those that dont know....FEMA lied to the workers and the death count of workers was higher then the people in the buildings. Look it up...its true. To this day alot of those people are having major health problems. They deserve this money....unlike the 11billion black farmer thing.

      November 19, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Donald R

      I think when the first responder assessed the scene they could have easily concluded that it was to dangerous to enter. It's one of the first things you are taught to do. Am I going to add more casualties to this situation? They are not "required" to enter an unsafe area. It is their job to provide assistance within the scope of their training. A lot of these people did more than they were required to do.

      November 19, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • RuFkngKdngMe

      What made that dust toxic as opposed to the dust of normal demolition is this:

      Normal demolition you have a shell of a building creating dust. Everything has been removed from that building.

      World Trade Towers contained the full contents of buildings which included data centers. In data centers you have a huge range of toxic substances. Everything from what makes up the components of many tons of computers to cooling liquids to battery backups to fuel for backup generators. When I heard them say that the dust wasn't toxic, and I distinctly remember them saying this on national broadcasts, I knew for a fact, the same as if someone told you that up was down, they were lying.

      November 19, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • "Steve"

      I seriously, with all my heart, hope that everyone of you that are badmouthing the first responders has a horrific crash or gets shot or has your house burn to the ground. Unless you have been there and done it like myself and all of the heroes, you dont know what you are talking about.

      November 19, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      You're an idiot, Steve....and I don't use that word lightly.

      November 19, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Shane G

    $70,000 per responder. Nice money. I think I'm in the wrong business. First the settlement for the farmers..now a settlement for first responders.

    November 19, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shane G

      Sorry to burst your bubble Fred. But everyday responders across America respond to tragic car accidents, gruesome burns, you name it. How do you think people look who get slammed by a semi or get a head on collision on the freeway?? Not pretty.

      November 19, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Oh yeah Shane, that's nice money to live for DECADES with disease and bad health! That won't even cover the prescription costs for most of them!

      It's a shame this country has no respect for the sacrifice made on its behalf by its First Responders. It proves the saying is true, "We ain't nothing until you need us" and this is a lesson learned. This type of disrespect will ensure that the day will come when you need us, and we just won't be there anymore. Then what are you going to do?

      November 19, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shane G

      Dave, like I said. First Responders..Fire-fighters..Police.. etc.respond every single day to burning buildings, tragic car accidents...shootings...they put their life on the line and we are all thankful. But it comes with the job. Do we now pay out $70,000 to every responder across the nation?? They risk their lives & inhale smoke too...every single day! Just do a quick search on google news..type in "Fire" and you'll see the daily fires that happen across this nation. It's like joining the Army..getting shot in Afghanistan..and then suing the U.S. government because they didn't know their lives were at risk!

      November 19, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • huggylove

      Your right Shane, I am also a first responder and would never look for a paid settlement just because i had to help somebody. That is what a first responder does. it's the SHISTER LAWERS that want to sue everyone, ambulance chasers looking for dishonest, unearned money. Use em all for Shark bait. And the black farmer thing?? get real How about All farmers, not just the black ones. We're suppose to be a country of equality? All Farmers. All Americans reguardless of race. This is backward discrimination.

      November 19, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shane G

      Huggylove! I admire what you do! Thank you!! And to "Taxpayer2"....if you combine all the fires that happen everyday across the U.S. it would more than likely exceed 3 world trade centers burning every single day. I'm not saying that the First Responders don't deserve anything at all. Give them each a $1,000 dollar bonus. After all, it was a tragical historical moment. That will cost us $10 million instead of $712 million. A savings of $702 million, that we can use for other purposes.

      November 19, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don in Nevada

      How much will the tenth response crew get?
      Heck, maybe if you go respond right now you could at least get $50.

      November 19, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • sk

      I wanted to be a first responder but i just didn't have the motivation to get through the coursework, so I became a second responder. Today I realize the folly of my ways.

      November 19, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Michael

    What? These "Heros" just did their jobs.
    Wish we could get on this gravy train for military action for just doing my job.

    November 19, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • hudson

      I completely agree. Why don't I get a settlement for going to another country to risk life and limb. We both volunteered for this but they get settlements? Riiiiight.

      November 19, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Taxpayer

      Agreed! They are just doing their jobs. No need to pay them anymore. My stockbroker is a "hero" for making money. Wait, that's his job. My teachers were heros for teaching me math. Wait, again in their job description. God Bless America.

      November 19, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      they risked their lives, saving thousands of people and are dealing with disease from the rubble, and i am sorry but normal everyday things are NOTHING like this, quit being ignorant, you have no clue what any of this is like.

      November 19, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Taxpayer2

      I believe they want to keep the first responder happy and quite becAuse they so the flowing stream molten steel from the nano thermite burning threw the core colums

      November 19, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      It was their job to save, rescue, evacuate those "1000's" of people. I was gassed in Iraq, shot at, wounded, and did my part of a job to "save" millions from Sadam and bin Laden. My reward....bi-monthly paychecks and a few ribbons.

      They just did their jobs.

      November 19, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jamie

      They signed up for it voluntarily just like you signed up voluntarily. They do not, however, have the VA to take care of their exhorbitant medical bills from 9/11 exposure. And very few NYPD knew about the programs in place to help them with their medical issues – pretty much only FDNY knew about it. Now there's ppl out there with cancers and diseases the same as FD but ins is saying it's unrelated to 9/11. This settlement won't hardly scratch the surface for many of these everyday, on the home-front heroes. Let's not forget that many of them are your former comrades too – lotsa military in LE.

      November 19, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. GENESO

    Love this country! It pays 7120.00 to each respondent for a war disaster! So, how much would it be if the'd save a life?
    Shame on you, America.

    November 19, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      Math not your strong suit huh?

      November 19, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • jib

      math is definitely NOT your strong suit

      November 19, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • numbers

      my dog asked me to inform you that your math is off by a lot.

      November 19, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Abraham Lincoln

    Too cheap. Peanuts.

    November 19, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jean

    Wonderfull news for those first responders. On a side note, how much a the attorneys taking home at the end of the day?

    November 19, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  7. War

    oo deep!

    November 19, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  8. YK

    After the lawyers get their cut I don't think this will be enough money for each individual even to cover the medical bills.

    November 19, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Praveen

    This is great news. These are the people who put their lives to save the people at risk. Hats off to them!
    Great move by NYC

    November 19, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. whaaaaa?

    This is BS... why are they getting a "settlement" for doing their jobs????? Someone please enlighten me.. they are getting paid to work, correct?

    November 19, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. 45grave

    Yep. Its just part of the job. No one made them sign up for the job. I reckon the sorry ass unions are behind this. And, all unions are sorry.

    November 19, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Breal123

      Just another of many ignorant comments from the "Me" Party.

      November 19, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  12. luckluck

    Everything is business for this country. War is a business, Working on a certain time is business. Everything is for money. There is no Human value. Money is more important than moral values.

    November 19, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Michael

    To Fred.....I am an infantry soldier and forward observer calling in airstrikes and artillery rounds killing ragheads in Iraq and Afghanistan. Getting ready for my 4th deployment to Afghanistan. I know the risks, and accept the pay offered to do the job without the expectation of having to sue to get additional compensation for just doing my job.

    November 19, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • fred

      Thanks for your service ....

      November 19, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • proponus

      Now this is a real HERO

      November 19, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • John C

      And you are a disgrace to the uniform if you are not completly making this up too.

      November 19, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. david

    Ridiculous. Our "heroes" sued the city? Haha.

    November 19, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  15. mike

    It is too sad that it took 9 years, and all the legal cost, and the lawyers get so much that should have gone to the workers, it just isn't right to treat them like that.

    November 19, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
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