Beth Fertig is WNYC’s Contributing Editor for Education. She previously covered politics, which included City Hall during the Giuliani administration, and the U.S. Senate campaigns of Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton. She also covered transportation and infrastructure.
Some Plaintiffs Say They'll Vote No on Ground Zero Health Settlement
Saturday, March 13, 2010
New York, NY –
Thousands of rescue workers who claim they were sickened after the 9/11 attacks could share up to $657 million in compensation, under a tentative settlement between lawyers for the city and the plaintiffs.
REPORTER: The deal would end years of litigation. But it needs to be approved by 95 percent of the plaintiffs over the next 3 months. One of them, retired deputy fire chief Jim Riches, says he's voting no.
RICHES: I just think it's a money deal, they're trying to buy people off and to bury the whole thing so this whole thing doesn't come out in court. I want to go to court, let them hear my case, let them hear what happened to me.
REPORTER: Riches says he suffers from acute respiratory illnesses. Lawyers for the city, the plaintiffs and a federally funded insurance company say the deal is fair given the complexities involved with proving some ten thousand people were sickened by working at Ground Zero.