June 10, 2010
New (and Final?) Settlement in WTC Disaster Site Litigation
The NYTimes reports that there has been a new settlement reached in the WTC First Responders litigation. According to the article, the city's insurer (WTC Captive Insurance Company) has agreed to pay out more for the settlement ($712.5 million). The lawyers agreed to reduce their fees to a maximum of 25% rather than 33.33%.
According to the article, the judge's response to the revisions was positive:
“This is a very good deal — I am very excited by this deal,” he said.
He acknowledged that his intervention in the class action settlement had been unusual but said that the gravity of the claims demanded it. “It just begs for judicial supervision, and I have exercised it, and I will continue to exercise it,” he said.
The lead plaintiff's lawyer, Paul Napoli, is quoted as saying that the settlement “can be described in three words: bigger and better.” Ken Feinberg is also quoted with good things to say about the settlement: “This settlement brings to an end one of the final chapters of the 9/11 tragedy.”
The Judge will hold a hearing to permit plaintiffs to ask questions and speak out about the settlement on June 23.
Interested readers can find settlement documents on the Napoli Bern website created for the WTC Litigation.