Deadline Looms For 9/11 Responders Settlement

Up To $815 Mil Possible For 10,000 Workers If 95% Sign On

NEW YORK (CBS 2/1010 WINS) — Monday night at 11:59 p.m. is the deadline for thousands of ground zero first responders — who must decide whether to sign on to a settlement deal with the New York City.

Judge Alvin Hellerstein issued an order late Monday setting a new Thursday deadline for the amount of time allotted to file the paperwork and necessary documents to the firm handling the settlement.  The plaintiffs still had to decide whether to be a part of the settlement by the end of Monday.

“I went to the doctor, but I don’t have enough money to pay the bills,” first responder Kalvin Satoo told CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown.

The settlement could total $815 million spread out across more than 10,000 emergency workers who have filed claims, depending on the severity of their illness.

Some would get thousands, while others would get millions.

However, choosing whether to sign the deal has been a gut-wrenching decision for thousands of first responders who are effectively giving up their right to sue later.

A multi-million dollar settlement won’t give 9/11 first responders their health back, but it may ease some of the financial strain they’ve been facing for more than nine years.

“I want to move on. It’s been nine long years and I want to put this behind me,” first responder Glen Klein said.

Klein decided to go ahead and do it, but said it wasn’t easy.

“I take the settlement now and I get sick down the road I don’t know if there will be any money left. I have three children I gotta get through school,” Klein said.

According to a deal worked out with all sides and signed by a judge, 95 percent of first responders who have filed claims against the city must sign on to the deal by midnight Monday or it is off the table for good.

Attorney Paul Napoli represents the first responders.

“If more than 95 percent participate, if 100 percent participate, or anywhere in between there we could get an additional $64.5 million in settlement,” Napoli said.

Napoli said the Zadroga Health Care Bill is a major factor. Those who agree to the settlement will be eligible for a share on the $7.4 billion in federal health care coverage — if the bill is approved by Congress.

Those who decide the opt-out will not.

Right now an estimated 92 percent of first responders have signed on to the settlement deal.

  • Thursday's intriguing people – This Just In - Blogs

    […] the settlement now and I get sick down the road, I don’t know if there will be any money left. I have three children I gotta get through school,” said Glen Klein, who ultimately accepted the […]

  • scott chernoff

    To Pete. I’m not going to lie to you that some Responders mostly Firefighters prospered well under the Lung Bill and the Presumption Bill due to 9/11. But the part you are NOT UNDERSTANDING especially in what i wrote was that MANY, many Responders(Cops, Construction workers, Volunteers, etc.) did not receive Disability Pensions that paid more or Workers Comp for others that were related to 9/11. We had OUR claims lied about, denied, misdiagnosed, disapproved from the very beginning by NYC(ie James Zadroga). To this day many Responders still try to fight the very system that has given them NOTHING but INJUSTICE!! I was forced out on my 9th year from the NYPD and received a MUCH LESSER paying NON 9/11 related disability pension which only pays me a THIRD after what my Ex Wife receives her portion after she DIVORCED ME after suffering from 9/11 PTSD, RADS, Sinus and Gastrointestinal problems that i SUFFERED during 9/11 and working thereafter even though i weightlifted and never smoked in my Life. The Judge in our case RULED AGAINST US in practically EVERY argument we had benefiting NYC and their high priced lawyers. The only thing that we have to argue on our behalf is our ILLNESSES and the DEATH of Responders. And we can possibly even LOSE that argument if we don’t agree to this settlement. You see it’s either take what we give you or face TOTAL DESTRUCTION in Court!!

  • Thomas

    I wish I had gone there to help. Then I would be laughing all the way to the bank for doing my job also.

    • Joe

      Or you might be sick or dead.

  • Chris Gleeson

    I don’t get it, where do I sign up for this? I have been dealing with asthma for the last couple of years. I use to run 3-5 miles like it was nothing now I can’t run a mile. I was burning steel down at the trade center for 5 days. The Health for Heroes was a joke too. Now people are getting a settlement from the government, the WCB isn’t paying my medical bills because they said I have no proof I was down there burning steel. Try telling some dingbat from the WCB in Binghamton what it was like down there on September 12th through the 17th, 2001. Those of you who were there know what I’m talking about. I’ll make my own deal with the government and taxpayers just pay for a CT scan every year and pick up cost for my asthma treatments and we’re cool.
    How many people know what Diphenolpropane 1,2 is? It is what we were breathing down there. It basically is the sum of everything that was burning down there, and very toxic. Stanford University conducted tests on the air samples that were taken during the first week.

    • Charlie O Hara

      Welcome to my world guy

  • scott chernoff

    Both of these clowns don’t know what the hell they are talking about! As a 9/11 Responder i can tell you the facts which both of you know nothing about. The majority of the money that is apart of this settlement was given to NYC during the BUSH administration and has been held captive in order to pay for multimillion dollar lawyers to FIGHT the 9/11 Responders claims of illness through the court system. Many of US will never recoup the jobs WE lost the health WE lost, some of us (over 900) have even LOST their LIVES and the FINANCIAL DESTRUCTION many many Responders families received as well. Many Responders will only receive a fraction of what they have lost are in debt for through medical expenses and have been dragged through the Court system. The 9/11 Health Bill that me and many Responders have been lobbying for YEARS is a PAYGO BILL you morons which means it won’t add to the Deficit because it will be payed by CLOSING A TAX LOOPHOLE on Foreign Corps and the Repubs don’t like their RICH special interests paying more tax so they WANT IT TO DIE AN ETERNAL DEATH so they call it a TAX HIKE or an ENTITLEMENT PROGRAM. Those are the FACTS…

    • Thomas

      You people already had health insurance. I have sarcoidosis but noone is paying me hundreds of thousands of dollars. And if you had settled back in 1991 you wouldn’t be in this mess right now. No one pays my medical bills for bad lungs received from my Military service. No i never retired…my bad…my fault.

  • ben howard

    Give me a break. Don’t all first responders risk their lives everyday? Why do these people deserve this $? And let’s admit it – it will be us taxpayers paying for this “settlement”. Why? We didn’t fly a plane into the towers. I have helped numerous accident victims and been hurt in the process – not once did I think of suing the victim for my possible future medical costs. One more example of the “sue-happy” and get rich american mind-set that put us in the economic position we are in.

    • Pete

      The first responders also forget to tell you about the lucrative disability pensions they have received,tax free with full medical benefits. If their jobs are so dangerous why don’t they quit???

  • Jay Visor

    You’ve got to be kidding me. “Take it now or get nothing”? And how much is it, again, that we’ve been spending every month in Iraq and Afghanistan?

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