Sunday, April 11, 2010

About half of the 11,000 World Trade Center workers suing the city have no illness or proof of illness

Mere fear of illness gets plaintiffs 3G+

About half of the 11,000 World Trade Center workers suing the city have no illness or proof of illness -- but still would get $3,250 to $6,500 each under a proposed settlement.
Some 9.9 percent of plaintiffs claim no injury, according to a report prepared last September for Manhattan federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein.
"All they have to do is sign up," said attorney Gregory Cannata, who represents about 60 workers. "They just have to say, 'My name is Bill Jones. Please pay me $3,250.' "
Another 40.9 percent of claimants provided only a doctor's letter. They offered no further proof, such as medical tests or records. They would be entitled to collect $6,500.
The filed report was based on data from 9,000 Ground Zero workers. It excludes another 2,000 claims, many of which were filed after the report was completed.
Cannata has argued to the judge that those cases should be dismissed.
The "giveaways" drain about $25 million that could otherwise go to the most seriously ill and disabled workers, he said.
A source close to the city said payments were included for non-injured workers because they claimed "a fear of getting sick" and could use the money for medical monitoring.
By the numbers
Details of the World Trade Center workers' settlement plan:
* 11,000 claimants
* Up to $657.5M in payouts if 100% of plaintiffs opt in; $575M in payouts if 95% opt in. 95% percent is minimum required for settlement.
* $59,773 to $65,750 the estimated average award; $1M for some severe illnesses.
* 25% to 40% of total proposed to be set aside for lawyer fees and expenses.

No comments:

There was an error in this gadget