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.