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Mesothelioma News Mesothelioma Alert: $650+ million settlement on the horizon for 9/11 workers

Monday, March 29th, 2010

A settlement between an insurer and the city of New York may provide a settlement to Ground Zero workers. 95% of plaintiffs/the afflicted must approve of the deal before it can be approved. Many of those afflicted include first responders and emergency personnel.

If 95% of the plaintiffs approve of the package, then the settlement will stand at $575 million. If 100% approve, the settlement package increases to $657 million. The money, which comes from a federally-funded insurance fund created six years ago, will help those who are suffering from 9/11-related medical problems.

According to New York City doctor Marc Siegel, "We don’t know what’s going to happen down the line. There’s a risk of cancer here, I believe. There’s a risk of emphysema. Permanent lung damage occurring down the line. Right now, we’re seeing asthma."

Because of the large amount of dust, asbestos, and other debris released into the air on September 11th, many who worked at Ground Zero may be at risk of developing serious health problems later in life, including lung cancer and mesothelioma, a rare cancer linked almost exclusively to asbestos exposure.

Carpenter James Nolan, who helped recover bodies at the World Trade Center site, would use his settlement to pay off his medical bills. “We’ve had to fight for what we deserve,” said Nolan. “I’m glad it’s coming to an end.”

Gary Klein, a retired cop with lung scarring, says that the settlement may not be enough. “A million dollars is not a lot of money if you have cancer and need chemotherapy,” Klein said. “What’s going to be left for your family after you die?”