June 24, 2010
A U.S. district judge in New York approved a settlement Wednesday that could pay more than $700 million to thousands of 9/11 first responders exposed to toxic dust at ground zero.
Before approving the settlement Judge Alvin Hellerstein listened to testimony from a sampling of some of the 10,000 plaintiffs at Wednesday’s hearing about the health battles that have plagued them since working at the World Trade Center site.
“I intend to approve this settlement, and I now do so as a fair, adequate and reasonable settlement reflecting hard work and a concern for fairness by all parties,” said Hellerstein.
“It is fair in amount and fair in procedures,” he added.
Qualifying plaintiffs will be enrolled in a special insurance policy through MetLife that will pay up to $100,000 for certain blood and respiratory cancers diagnosed during the coverage period.