NPR logo Judge OKs Deal For Sept. 11 Responders


Judge OKs Deal For Sept. 11 Responders

A New York judge signed an order Wednesday approving a settlement that could pay more than $700 million to thousands of responders exposed to toxic dust during and after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein listened to a day of sometimes emotional testimony from victims.

Most plaintiffs supported the settlement, which was seven years in the making and will resolve nearly 10,000 suits by police officers, firefighters and construction workers. But some questioned the deal, which favors some lung and respiratory cancers over others.

Hellerstein had rejected the first deal as too low, and sent it back.

Ninety-five percent of the plaintiffs have to approve the deal for it to go through. How much money is paid out will depend on many factors, including how many take the deal.

Lawyers gave payout estimates that ranged from $3,000 to those who worry they may become ill, to $1.8 million to the estates of some of those who died.