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. Kyle

    If the government is going to provide aid to people for large tragedies and disasters, it should do the same for small ones. Even if only one person is affected. But in reality, FEMA should go away and large settlements like this should go away. Just another example of the government overstepping it's authority.

    November 19, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • asrael

      Court settlement; doesn't seem to have anything do with "government"...

      November 19, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • John C

      You T baggers have no idea how anything works and you think you are all experts on everything.

      November 19, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  2. whaaaaa?

    what is the "settlement" for... what grounds dud they sue the city? It's not the fault of New York City that a bunch if fanatical religious maniacs attacked us... why isNYC liable for anything ??!?!? Thecity dudn't require them to do anything that day tbat they didn't sign up for.

    This should've been thrown out of court... but of course it wasn't, because the lawyers are all in cahoots.

    November 19, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kyle

      I don't know if I would call Dick Cheney and his friends a bunch of fanatical religious maniacs...

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

      Read the article before you tell us. You just sound stupid.

      November 19, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jerkman

    In one generation our country went from the biggest creditor to the biggest debtor. Shame on you dim-whitted young people for being so naïve & stupid to allow this. You'll burn just like the rest of this country.

    November 19, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • surething

      Jerkman the debt started in the 50s. I don't think one "young" person was around then.. Were you voting then?

      November 19, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • John C

      You believe this because Fox news and the right wing noise machine told you what to think. Wake up sheep.

      November 19, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. 5T1V roma

    funny this announcement comes the same day as the 1 billion plus cut in new york city which includes closing 20 firehouses in the evening, cutting an unbelievable 6,000 teachers, and more. I admire the first responders courage and think they should be compensated – but in leaner times .

    November 19, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  5. PARROT

    I BET ALL OF THEM ARE JEWS....!!!

    November 19, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Veritas

    While I commend all first responders for being there. It was essentially what they signed up for. To serve and protect, to help in need. What is the definable difference between this and fighting a house fire. I'm not putting the two on an equal level but there's no way to say this deserves reparations and this doesn't. It's a shame, with the shambles our country is in due to the amount of debt we have along with our ailing youth's education. This money should be redirected towards something with more long term benefit. Between this and the black farmers settlement. That's a small chunk our debt that could be cleared. Just because we print up more and more money to pay bills, doesn't mean it's worth anything.

    November 19, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  7. patricia

    Most of these jobs we could not do. They probably live every day with awful memories, so let them have the money. They are not scamers.

    November 19, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Vet21q

    As "unfair" as it seems to pay this people extra for "doing their job", their job that day was extreme and a lot worse than anything any of them probably signed on for! For the military on here complaining about not getting a settlement for going overseas, you volunteered to join correct?? Pretty sure there is no draft in the US still. That is the sacrifice you make when signing a contract with the military. I spent an entire week off the coast of NYC after 9-11 on a naval ship watching the skies, up for 70 something hours straight to make sure everything was good for our "mission" to protect and defend our country. The attack took everyone by surprise, including the military and our First Responders!
    And our military members are paid well, tax free, haz pay, come on now. Could it be higher, of course, but its not. You joined out of your own free will, so do it with pride and stop whinning!

    November 19, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Inconvenient Truth Teller

    Not saying these 1st reponders don`t deserve their average of $70K a piece.

    HOWEVER, I can help but notice that Black farmers who have been fighing for DECADES of discrimination are only getting $50,000 a piece some 11 years AFTER a settlment was reached. And even this paltry sum was delayed by a REPUBLICAN senater, that idiot Colburn from OKlahoma.

    There is no way these 1st responders deserve more money or to get it faster than these farmers.

    Even in 2010 vestiges of racial inequality remain so to all you blind people, we don`t live in a post racial world and neither does our President.

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

      Bullhockey..
      Giving this money to black farmers is just another prime example of reverse racism.
      Pull the race card.....get a free ride. That's what they are teaching their kids.
      It's only going to get worse as time goes by.
      Then these same people want to cry about being treated differently because of the color of their skin.
      Unless it benefits them of course.
      Any "self respecting" farmer would turn that money down.
      Hipocrites!

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

      That's right: any "self respecting" black farmer who lost his farm because of discriminatory loan practices should turn down the settlement, if only to deprive Harvey and friends of something to complain about...

      November 19, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. proponus

    wait.....so they are trying to bleed a city dry just for a mere $53k ea??? Keep this up and I bet next time that there is a disaster, you will have bureaucrats waiting for people to sign waivers before any relief work can be done.

    9/11 heroes became leeches.

    November 19, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Harvey

    Why would the tax payers have to foot the bill for this?
    The city didn't fly airplanes into their own buildings.
    Neither did the tax payers. This settlement makes it seem like there was some kind of negligence here.
    Can anyone explain the logic of this?
    If it's a reward, then call it that. Or if it's hazard pay then let's not make these people seem like victims for doing their jobs.
    Maybe use some of the treasure the army is looting from the Taliban to pay these people.
    Millions in drug money everyday are taken from them.
    Who's pocket does that end up in?

    November 19, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  12. This guy

    this is ridiculous. what do they need a settlement for? sure they're heros but it's been 9 years. i don't understand the logic here

    November 19, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Bob

    Wait...they're getting paid through *OUR* hard-earned money, when they were already on the clock during 9 11? What...this makes no sense. Why did they volunteer for this job, and then blame the government for the position they were put in and demand money? Only in America, we work like this: "We'll help you now, but we'll sue you later."

    November 19, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  14. proponus

    I think Americans need to read their job descriptions better. Police suing because some crackhead shot them. "First Responders" suing because they got sick while working ground zero, firefighters suing because they got burned, soliders suing because their government is sending them to fight.

    READ. What do you think all these people do? These jobs are some of the most dangerous out there. There are INHERENT DANGERS that come with the job. I myself avoid these jobs because 1) I am not a hero is any way and 2) I MIGHT GET HURT OR KILLED. FRIGGIN DUUUUUUUUUUUH!

    November 19, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. 5T1V roma

    wait.

    I had to google another news site to get the real story, from back in october:
    At a hearing in Manhattan federal court, attorney Paul Napoli, who represents most of the firefighters, construction workers and others injured in the Ground Zero cleanup, said that so far 75 percent of his clients have approved the deal, with another 15 percent to 20 percent saying they will join in.

    "We are very confident we can achieve 95 percent in the next 30 days," said Napoli, who represents about 9,600 plaintiffs. Another firm has about 700 clients.

    November 19, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
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