According to Reuters, a Federal Judge has approved settlement of the claims of 10,000 firefighters, policemen and contractors injured in the 9-11 rescue and clean-up operation for $712 million. A previous settlement amount of $657 million was rejected by a Federal Judge in March. The claims were filed against the city and contractors overseeing the work at the World Trade Center site. Site workers have been dealing with various diseases including lung illnesses, cancers, and psychological problems since the terrorist attack.
The claims fund will be funded by the WTC Captive Insurance Company, a federally financed insurance fund created in 2004 by FEMA. 95 percent of the plaintiffs must opt in to the settlement for the deal to become final. Plaintiffs have 90 days to approve the plan. Plaintiffs’ lawyers representing the injured victims have agreed to cap their fees at 25 percent.
The fund will pay up to $1 million for people suffering from the most severe illnesses, such as cancer. However, most victims of this horrible day still have concerns for the future, like Joseph Lutrario, a former NYPD officer, who has suffered from PTSD, stomach polyps, and esophageal polyps since the attacks. He was forced to retire as a result of his injuries. The story quotes Mr. Lutario voicing his concerns about the future. “This is good news now, but I’m not sure what happens five, 10 years down the line if I get even sicker.”