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. Dawn

    Com'on, These first responders have been sick,some died,some commited suicide, others have been sick they are in pain and suffering. Job or no job these people are heros and they deserve to get money. How many of them were killed in 911. People who are saying its just a job are the ones that will never risk their own lives to help another person.

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

      exactly....because WE KNOW THE RISKS AND KNOW THAT WE CANT HANDLE THEM.

      November 19, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. John

    These people were told for months, (almost years) during the attempted rescues, recovery of bodies and clean up that the air was safe to breath. Now they are sick and dying from exposure to the "safe" air. THAT is what this money is for! When you join the military do they try to tell you that war was safe and you would not suffer? These people were told not to worry about the air and now they are slowly suffocating from the damage to their lungs. The City and the EPA COULD have protected them and the residents at the time but they did not. That is what this settlement is for.

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

      So you are saying people are too stupid to think for themselves. People are told that war is safe and they should believe it.....riiiiiight. People are told that recovery of bacteria infested rotting corpses is safe and they believe it.....riiiiiight. Who would have ever thunk that one could get sick or hurt.

      November 19, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tom H

    Disgusting. Absolutely disgusting. This settlement cancels out their "hero" status. This is further proof that the United States is going right down the toilet!!

    November 19, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. erin

    Wish my husband got extra money for being a solider....oh wait he wanted to join...its his job...I just dont agree with my tax money being spent on this....it was their job. Im thankful for their hardwork...but thats their job dont think they should get an extra reward. And for the record my husband was with meda vac...watched his friends die, his roomate died on his last mission a week before they were to come home, was the only survior in a helicopter crash...and is going back in march. All he wants is respect and thanks. Not an extra paycheck. Just makes me sick. Dont sign up if you dont want the risk.

    November 19, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Kathy

    What these people went through was not your average day on the job. Because of that day, they are faced with a life time of illnesses you obviously cannot comprehend. These are not healthy people who just got a bonus. They are sick from being subjected to unhealthy conditions. It went way beyond a normal day on the job. God Bless Them and all first responders and may God help you awful people when you need one.

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

      I apologize....I didn't realize that these people had guns to their heads and told to work.

      /sarcasm

      November 19, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ihate govtfraud

    We shouldn't have paid that money. Nor should we give free housing, food, medical care, pensions, and on average 2 pay raises a year to people who, because they don't have the means to get a good job, go into the service and then strut around just to get spiffs. No one offers me discounts for doing MY job

    November 19, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Maverick

    I am a paramedic. I am a first responder. I have been in situations most cannot even conceive. I have faced death, my own included, too many times to count. I am not a hero, although I may be thought of as such by those I have been most fortunate enough to help. To go into a dangerous environment or to face illness and trauma head-on is part of the job. I neither seek nor require accolades. You will not see me sitting atop rescue vehicles in parades because I am busy working, as are my fellow EMS brothers and sisters. It is a way of life. Extra compensation comes from someone saying "thank you". Anything else is superfluous.

    November 19, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • proponus

      Thank you!

      November 19, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Harvey

    Whoever takes this money are NOT heroes anymore.
    Just another bunch of oppertunists.
    Disgusting....

    November 19, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  9. KateC

    Wow, how quickly we like to forget those who were heroes on that day. Many volunteered to help and find the missing, not knowing at the time that they were exposing themselves to harmful toxins. I will gladly put my tax money toward them as I live in NYC and did during 9/11, and this is coming from a fiscally conservative woman. I have tremendous support and goodwill towards those who came from NY and other states to help everyone on site during those awful days.

    Also, if you had read any earlier articles and court statements, you would see that attorney fees are caped at 25%. Unfortunately that is still a nice amount for them.

    November 19, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • marc FROM PHILLY

      I agree KateC.

      November 19, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Coloredwhinerno1

    Why did the "coloreds get money?" are you for real? Those black farmers as well as well as countless others before them have been discriminated against, cheated out their land, money. Learn people and do some research before you think and say stupid things.

    November 19, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • asrael

      But saying stupid things is so much easier: no research required...

      November 19, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. marc FROM PHILLY

    Didn't this have to do with the disorders that they incurred that the city &/or insurance companies wouldn't pay for? They weren't trying to get money like the people who lost loved ones. Bronchitis, lung cancer, etc.

    November 19, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  12. marc FROM PHILLY

    The guy above me actually wrote COLOREDS. As if his skin complexion doesn't resemble walking pork. That's pink. Isn't that a color?

    November 19, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom H

      LOL I agree marc! I was somewhat appalled to see someone wrote "colored" in 2010!! And WHAT does that have to do with this story anyway?? It always amazes me how these message boards attract so many ignorant people. Most of the people on this message board are right on the money, but his was just nonsense!

      November 19, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  13. whwota

    What's wrong with you people? This was not "just doing their jobs" "inhaling smoke" this was toxic fumes that caused or is causing long term health problems and death. I don't think they got enough of a settlement.

    November 19, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • marc FROM PHILLY

      I wholeheartedly agree

      November 19, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • John C

      The idiot comments here only prove that the rightwing talk machine can make some people think and say anything they want. Nothing it out of bounds anymore. Because the republicans played politics and fought this so you fools really think these people did not go above and beyond and 9/11 was just another fire, just a typical rescue? These people represent America at its finest, while people like Michael, complaining about this are a disgrace to the uniform.

      November 19, 2010 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  14. hope

    ok! think bout this its been 10 yrs and yeah i appreciate everything they did but that was their job!!! and i feel like they could have used that 700 million on somethin that would actually help tha american citizens instead of payn pain and sufferin to people that signed up for tha job!!!!!! u got starvin children and people out of work where is their pain and sufferin for situations they couldn't control! just sayin!

    November 19, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  15. John

    WOW, the majority of these posts are heartless, scary, and way off point with regard to the truth of what this case is about. If you were told by authorities that the air you are breathing is safe and it was not there is a problem. Let's say the FDA said that something you are taking is safe and then it turned out they lied to you and hide the truth about the danger in what your were ingesting? We would all be in line to hold the authority in the matter accountable. This is the same type of thing

    November 19, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
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