A federal judge has ordered renegotiation of a settlement that would pay up to $657 million to people who got sick after working at the World Trade Center site following the September 11th terrorist attacks.
Ill September 11th workers and their families were supposed to weigh in on the settlement at the Pearl Street Court House today to determine whether a proposed settlement is fair and appropriate, but in the later afternoon the judge expressed frustration over what he called an inadequate settlement “based on fear and ignorance.”
Lawyers for both sides question whether the judge has the authority to grant the final approval for the settlement.
One of the biggest questions is how much each plaintiff will receive of the $657 million payout. A neutral third party is expected to decide individual cash payments, which could range from a few thousand dollars to more than a million.
The judge previously ruled that 95 percent of the workers had to sign on for the deal to go through.
The workers who take compensation through a payout would not be eligible for the additional financial compensation proposed in the federal James Zadroga bill, which was approved by a House of Representatives committee earlier this week. They would, however, be eligible for the long-term health benefits.