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. peter

    Its disgusting that it took this long!

    November 19, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Thinks2010

    This law suit was not about the conditions the responders met on the day of 9/11, it centered around the fact that the government assured them that the area was safe to work in during the days and weeks that followed (and especially that the air was safe to breath there), when, in fact, it was not. The government has a history of similar lies. Perhaps now it will think twice before doing so again. God bless these responders.

    November 19, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Joe Cannuck

    I have been a firefighter for about 7 years. I should start off by saying that I am a volounteer firefighter, but then our entire department is volounteer, as well as departments in all neighboring communities are volounteer. It doesn't matter to a first responder how much money we make, be it for no compensation at all, or for the marginal wage big city departments pay their staff. No amount of money can make a person deal with the things we deal with. We do it because of a deeply engrained sense of community and love for our fellow man. One thing is for sure, when people like our first responders are in trouble, what kind of person finds fault with a bit of compensation. Some of the comments on this board are a firm affirmation that Capitalism is alive and well. Seems to me that the value of money in some people's eyes is worth more than the value of a person, and a good person at that. First responders, even paid ones, do not get to be millionaires. Give these guys a break and treat them with the respect they deserve. Just remember, when you are out there pushing paper, or flipping burgers, or whatever it is that you do, 99.9% of the time your life is not in danger.

    November 19, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Houston

    Taxpayer 2, your little pills are not part of a great conspiracy to silence you. They are your friends.
    Peace

    November 19, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Pam

    How can anyone understand the emotional and physical rigors that Emergency Responders FACE Daily. I for one applaud the way this went. Many things happened on that HORRIBLE day that ones who DO NOT dO the job can't comprehend. I am a Paramedic, Tech Rescue, SAR and member of SMAT. Some jobs do have a required and inherent risk. But our FIRST duty is to ourselves. Most of us put the public ahead of ourselves at risk to ourselves daily. But the biggest hazards first responders face daily are the general public. Yes our military folks keep us safe overseas and defend our ideals as a whole. What do u think ALL FIRST RESPONDERS face daily. I love my job people but I am one of those who get paid TOO little to keep AMERICANS alive daily. And this is how many respond. Reality check people, we are the ones called to your homes and them get physically and verbally ABUSED by the very ones who called for our assistance. Thank GOD the families and first responders involved can still provide for their families thanks to this settlement. Its great to see OSHA help us instead of government.

    November 19, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • DJ

      I whole heartedly applaud your service. I agree you get paid too little (along with teachers and military). My only problem with your post is how you try to belittle military service. There is very little difference. We face dangers constantly overseas and back home. We also face ABUSE from the very people we're trying to protect. A big difference is that a lot of times, it's not emotional abuse, it's bombs and bullets.

      November 19, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  6. the truth in yooooo

    too bad they are not black they would have got 1.15 billion

    November 19, 2010 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. 111910

    Oh boy-most of you responding to this article failed to actually read it. Typical. This was not money for the folks that ran in to the buildings....it is for the "ground zero workers" that did the work AFTER the buildings collapsed. Keep in mind-there were several folks that did not have the proper equipment since so much was destroyed in order for them to actually breathe the air while working to save victims and collect the dead. Also, if you will recall, the building itself was full of toxic materials. THAT EQUIPMENT IS SUPPOSED TO BE SUPPLIED BY THE CITY! Much of these comments are so hateful and really unfounded.

    November 19, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Ken

    Amusingly enough I have a really hard time taking comments seriously when the moron posting it can not figure out which version of a word to use. There instead of their, to instead of too. Before commenting people need to show evidence that they have gray matter inside their thick skull.

    Should we be spending 712 million to make a law firm fat, or to pay people for a job that they signed on to do? No, not when that money could have went to school systems to help them educate the illiterate morons that post in comment threads.

    November 19, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  9. kieavehlk

    Alright, here's my viewpoint. Every single soldier or whatever that's commenting on here saying that they should be compensated do risking their life has obviously missed a strong point while reading this article. The reason they sued, is because they were not given proper equipment that would have prevented there medical conditions. So, obviously you should start to pay attnetion while reading.

    November 19, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Houston

    Ken, It's "should have GONE to help educate them" not "went" so I guess I can't take you seriuosly either.

    November 19, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Kacy

    How can this even be called an article? There's practically no information.
    And might I add, what a piddly-@$$ settlement figure for ten thousand people.

    November 19, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Houston

    Seriously!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 19, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  13. JN

    I'm glad they are finally being compensated properly. Those people are heroes, and we should not forget that.

    November 19, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Carol

    My husband worked there from Sept 12 2001 until June of 2005..He wakes up every morning throwing up and coughs all day long..He was diagnosed with Asthma, bronchiolitist, sleep disorder and other ailments...I was 7 months pregnant and I didnt see him for a week, when he would come home he was covered in ashes from head to toe!!!! He was told the air was safe!! I have 4 children do you really think that 70,000 is going to help me raise them? I think him being around and provoding for us would be a heck of alot more than 70,000...Those men and women that went down in that pit will always be heroes!!!

    November 19, 2010 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Alex

    Selfish Americans... Country suffered then now in a. Recession they have to pay 712 mil

    Only in America

    November 19, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
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