While I am sure that most of the general public has heard about last week’s potential $657 million settlement for 9/11 First Responders ( including volunteers), do you want to read the entire 95 page World Trade Center Settlement Process Agreement ? In addition to the agreement, there are attached to the agreement multiple Exhibits A through U (click here and here for examples)which put the total page count in the multiple hundreds of pages.
Thankfully, the over 10,000 first responders have been given 90 days dissect this important document before the must vote to approve or disapprove the proposed settlement. Awards to individuals or families could range anywhere from a high of over one million dollars to a low of $3,200.00, with an expected average award according to news reports to be in the $50,000 – $60,000 range. Finally, U.S. District Court Judge Alvin Hellerstein must also approve of both the settlement agreement and the amount of attorneys fees.
As most of my readers know, I have been covering 9/11 workers’ compensation and litigation developments on this blog for over five years now. After the announcement of the proposed settlement last Thursday night, my office has received another rush of calls. Many want to know if it is too late to join this lawsuit now as plaintiffs.
The answer is "No", it’s not too late. However, time is short for attorneys to review new client medical records for eligibility and make the appropriate claim,if any. If you have yet to sign up for this litigation and you were a first responder or volunteer who worked at Ground Zero, now may be your last chance to join this potential settlement. Remember – this lawsuit is separate and apart from any New York Workers Compensation claim you may have in the past, currently or in the future.
Since last Thursday, I have taken numerous phone calls from first responders and/or volunteers with serious lung conditions or cancers who never knew about the existence of this lawsuit. I encourage all first responders or volunteers who have been diagnosed with a condition potentially related to their exposure to dust and toxins at Ground Zero, and have not already signed on to this lawsuit (you probably would have signed a formal 1/3 retainer agreement), to contact an attorney today.
Readers of this blog can always call me toll free at 1-877-NY-DBLAW (1-877-693-2529) , extension 123 with any questions. Let’s hope that this proposed settlement brings some closure for sick first responders and their loved ones. They deserve it.