Firefighters, police officers and others who worked on rescue and recovery efforts after the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks have reached a settlement with New York City over health damages they reported to have suffered. After seven years of legal action, more than 95% of those who...
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Now that a final agreement has been approved, the process of distributing the money begins. An independent claims evaluator has been hired to evaluate each of the claim forms that have been submitted to determine how much money the claimant deserves. Any plaintiff who disagrees with this decision may appeal to a "Claims Appeal Neutral," who will decide whether the original evaluation was correct. That decision is final since all persons accepting the agreement did so with the explicit understanding that they would give up any rights of appeal to the courts.
Although there is a final settlement, it does not formally take effect until all the parties affirm it. The first checks are not expected before early 2011.
STEVE BLACKISTONE, a Firehouse® contributing editor, is a Maryland attorney who directs state and local liaison activities for an agency of the federal government. Prior to his current position, he served in a variety of posts on the staff of the U.S. House of Representatives, working both on the personal staffs of members of Congress and on congressional committees. Blackistone also is an active volunteer EMT/firefighter with the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad in Montgomery County, MD.