Three Additional Settlements to 9/11 Claims Bring Potential Compensation to $796.45 Million
Journal of Transportation News
November 17, 2010
Three additional settlements to claims arising from the debris removal operations after 9/11 have been reached, adding $46.45 million to existing settlements that already total up to $750 million in compensation for plaintiffs. Two of the three defendants responsible for the work done at the Fresh Kills Landfill site in Staten Island, New York have agreed to pay up to $24.3 million to settle claims of those plaintiffs who sustained injuries during the debris disposal and evidence examination operations performed at the Fresh Kills site. Several insurers for Weeks Marine, the defendant responsible for the marine work done on the barges transferring the debris to Staten Island have agreed to pay $28 million to plaintiffs to settle claims for indemnification by the WTC Captive Insurance Co. Inc. Most recently, respirator manufacturer Survivair has contributed $4.15 million in settlement of plaintiffs' claims against it.
These latest settlements will benefit plaintiffs that worked at the Fresh Kills Landfill and those that worked on or near barges used for transporting debris to the landfill, suffering injuries there. This money will be in addition to the compensation those plaintiffs are eligible to receive under the settlement with the City of New York and its contractors (valued at $625 million to $712.5 million) and the Port Authority (valued at $47.5 million). While the settling insurers covered defendants that were released by the Plaintiffs' settlement with the City and its contractors, the insurers had not contributed to the Captive settlement on behalf of the marine defendants.
The money from these latest settlements will be allocated in accordance with the same objective diagnostic criteria and allocation process contained in the Settlement Process Agreement reached with the City of New York and its contractors. District Court Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein, who oversees these cases, has already declared that allocation process "fair and reasonable." As with the City's settlement, the plaintiffs will be grouped into four tiers by the type and severity levels of their injuries, with Tiers 1, 2 and 3 receiving fixed payments and Tier 4 receiving variable compensation based on objective medical factors.
Plaintiffs' Liaison Counsel Paul Napoli said that he and his colleagues "are very happy we have reached agreements with these defendants, following extensive negotiations that lasted several years. Negotiations with remaining defendants have been going on as well and we hope that the latest settlements will encourage those defendants to take this opportunity to resolve the remaining plaintiffs' claims against them in the near future."