Fred Mogul, Reporter, WNYC News
Fred Mogul has been covering healthcare and medicine for WNYC since 2002.
New York, NY –
The federal judge in a large settlement with World Trade Center workers wants to hear more from the attorneys later this week and from individual workers with health problems at a hearing next month. In the meantime, legal experts warn dissatisfied plaintiffs not to reject the $650 million settlement until they learn more. WNYC’s Fred Mogul has the details.
REPORTER: The early buzz among World Trade Center health advocates is that with 10,000 plaintiffs, and roughly a third of the money going to attorneys, the seemingly large dollar amounts really aren’t so large. Visiting Fordham Law Professor Alexandra Lahav says plaintiffs need to consider whether they’d do better at a trial.
LAHAV: And so you have to make a judgment. There’s a risk associated with it and a lot of unknown.
Lahav says people should hold off making a decision until they get a sense from their attorney what their payout is likely to be. Among other things it will be based on the plaintiffs' health, their pre-existing conditions and the amount of time they spent at the World Trade Center site.
HOST: In order for the settlement to take effect at least 95 percent of plaintiffs need to agree to its terms.