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Port Authority Settles Ground Zero Workers’ Claims


New York, New York, October 14, 2010, for immediate release: Plaintiffs in the litigation arising from the debris clean up activities at the World Trade Center site following the 9/11 attacks have entered a settlement agreement with The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, owner of the World Trade Center site. Pursuant to the Settlement Agreement, which is still subject to the approval of the Port Authority Board of Commissioners and the Governor’s review, the Port Authority has agreed to pay $47.5 million to settle claims of those plaintiffs who sued the Port Authority for injuries they sustained during the rescue, recovery and debris removal operations following the terrorist attacks of 9/11. This compensation is only for those plaintiffs that named the Port Authority in their complaints and would be in addition to the compensation these plaintiffs are eligible to receive under the agreement their counsel reached with the City and its contractors, worth up to $712.5 million.

While the Port Authority is not a party to the prior settlement that was reached between the City and its contractors, the Port Authority’s settlement money will be allocated in accordance with the same objective diagnostic criteria and allocation process contained in that agreement. 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. Tiers 1, 2 and 3 will receive fixed payments as follows: $2000 for plaintiffs in Tier 1; $2500 to plaintiffs in Tier 2; and $3,000 for plaintiffs in Tier 3. Plaintiffs in Tier 4 could receive tens of thousands of dollars in additional compensation.

Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel Paul Napoli said that he and his colleagues “are elated by the finalization of this agreement with the Port Authority, which followed extensive negotiations over many weeks.” “Other settlement negotiations with remaining defendants have been ongoing as well, and we are hopeful that the Port Authority settlement will encourage those defendants to take this opportunity to resolve plaintiffs’ claims against them,” Napoli said. In comments during court conferences and in recent orders, Judge Hellerstein has echoed a similar hope about further settlements with remaining defendants.


 Port Authority
 WTC Settlement

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