More than 80 union workers who helped Ground Zero cleanup have received a settlement worth $53.8 million. The workers are all suffering from lingering health issues after working around Ground Zero in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and breathing in the toxic dust that had settled in the area after the collapse of the World Trade Center. The settlement papers were made public on Wednesday after news of the agreement broke.
As a result of the settlement, the 82 workers who came together as plaintiffs will each receive an average of $656,119, though the actual amounts each individual receives will range from $25,000 to $1.45 million depending on the nature and severity of each person’s injuries or illness. Other factors on how much money each person receives include age, total lost earnings and lost earning capacity.
The money from the settlement will come from companies that either owned or occupied buildings surrounding the previous World Trade Center site, such as the Bank of New York, the Deutsche Bank and Merrill Lynch.
A representative of the plaintiffs called them the “unsung heroes” of the September 11 attacks, as they came to Ground Zero despite the health risks to help clean up the area, search for survivors and allow the people who worked in those office buildings in lower Manhattan to get back to business as usual in a remarkably quick amount of time.
If you have injuries or illnesses as a result of the September 11 terrorist attacks, you may be eligible for compensation under the Zadroga Act. Contact a dedicated New York attorney at Barasch, McGarry, Salzman & Penson for more information and guidance.