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9/11 Worker-Dust Settlement

I had a column in Saturday's New York Post, which looked at the contours of the settlement agreement reached between New York City and the 9/11-cleanup workers allegedly injured by dust. The proposed settlement suggests that the City hopes to avoid the fate that has befallen defendants who agreed to other mass-tort settlements (including those reached with lead 9/11 attorneys at Napoli Bern). But that doesn't mean the lawyers don't make out handsomely:

Of the $600 million or so to be distributed under the settlement agreement, more than a third will go to the plaintiffs' counsel, assuming they've negotiated standard contingent-fee contracts -- and Judge Hellerstein approves. The city has already paid over $200 million to its lawyers. Nine years after the terrorist attacks, the victims stand to get less than half of what they've "won."

(Note that Judge Hellerstein has signaled that he plans to scrutinize lawyers' fee agreements very closely.)

For my previous discussion of this case, see here and here.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.