Workers injured after the fall of the World Trade Center towers on September 11 received great news this week. A judge has approved a settlement that means 10,000 workers will receive up to $712.5 from a compensation pool.
The settlement will compensate workers suffering from illness like asthma, cancer, respiratory issues and more contracted during rescue and recovery efforts at Ground Zero. More money will be available to claimants than in previous settlements.
Previously in March the judge told both sides to keep negotiating after he rejected a settlement that would have paid between $575 million and $657 million. The judge, U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein, thought that more money should be going to the plaintiffs – the injured workers.
The new settlement has established eligibility criteria for workers who wish to receive compensation from the fund. Claimants will also receive free cancer insurance, which consists of a $100,000 policy. It also caps the lawyer’s fees at 25 percent of the awards (high attorney fees have been a contentious issue; the previous cap was 33 percent).
Claimants can receive anything from $3,250 for a fear of being sick (with no actual injury) to $1.05 million for non-smokers who contracted debilitating respiratory problems after the attack. Families looking for death benefits could receive as much as $1.5 million.