Judge gives preliminary approval to 9/11 settlement
(AP) - The judge overseeing a lawsuit by thousands of ground zero workers exposed to World Trade Center dust has called a proposed new settlement "a very good deal."
U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein signed an order givingpreliminary approval to the settlement, clearing the way for apublic hearing later this month. Ninety-five percent of theplaintiffs must sign off on the deal for it to be final.
In March, Hellerstein rejected an initial settlement between thecity and workers. He called the $575 million to $657 million dealtoo stingy for the most seriously ill responders and too rich forlawyers.
The new deal raises the amount of the settlement to $625 millionto $712 million and reduces the fees lawyers would collect fromone-third to one-fourth of the settlement.