More than 95 percent of the workers who sued New York City and its contractors over health damages suffered in the 9/11 rescue and recovery effort have approved a negotiated settlement of their claims, clearing the way for payouts of at least $625 million, lawyers said Friday.
Plaintiffs had faced a deadline of Tuesday night for accepting or rejecting the settlement, with a 95 approval rate required for the accord to take effect. In responses relayed on Friday to the federal judge overseeing the litigation, they narrowly cleared the threshold: 95.1 percent , or 10,043 of the 10,563 workers, accepted the settlement’s terms.
“This settlement is a fair and just resolution of these claims, protecting those who came to the aid of this city when we needed it most,” Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said in a statement. “We will continue our commitment to treatment and monitoring of those who were present at ground zero.”
For most of the workers, the decision brings an end to a draining seven-year battle that many had cast as a quest for justice and recognition.