Tragedy became history on September 11, 2001 when two commercial airplanes were hijacked and flown into the World Trade Center towers. Many people were killed in the plane crashes and building collapses that day.
The numbers of construction workers, police officers, firefighters and rescuers that responded, worked to free people trapped and help clear the rubble. Now, more than 9 years after that day, many of those workers will finally be compensated for work-related injuries that they suffered while working at Ground Zero.
Last week, a multi-million dollar settlement was approved by thousands of workers who filed lawsuits against New York City for illnesses related to their restoration work. This settlement, combined with other deals that are currently pending, will hopefully cover medical care for sick workers.
Workers began to experience respiratory problems that included asthma and decreased lung capacity. It is believed that the dust from the building collapses was toxic and was making them sick. Lawsuits were filed against the city for failure to protect the workers from exposure to the dust.
When someone is injured on the job, they usually have to show that their injury was in fact work related. These workers would normally have to prove that their respiratory illnesses were directly connected to their work at the site, caused by the toxic dust. However the settlement does not require them to do so, making it easier for injured workers to receive their part of the settlement.
City officials were glad to see the entire case come to a close. For the thousands who were a part of this lawsuit, the settlement was a good result.
Source: The Morning Call online, “Deal with NYC settles majority of lawsuits over toxic dust from WTC site cleanup after 9/11,” David Caruso, 20 November 2010