New York, NYAttorneys representing the plaintiffs who were injured while working in the rescue, recovery and debris removal activities at the site of the World Trade Center following the 9/11 terrorist attacks and subsequent collapse of the twin towers have confirmed today that they have surpassed the requisite ninety-five percent (95%) opt-in threshold required in their agreement with the City of New York and its Contractors. As a result, the Settlement is officially effectuated, as Settlement Allocated Claims Neutral Matthew Garrettson, Esq., announced earlier today.
A total of 10,043 eligible plaintiffs have submitted opt-in documents. This figure does not account for deficiencies in some of the plaintiffs' documents that will have to be corrected.
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The original Settlement Process Agreement ('SPA') with the City is worth $625-$712.5 million, depending on the percentage of overall plaintiffs opting in to the settlement. That settlement has been made sweeter by a group of additional settlements negotiated with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey ($47.5 million), two of the three contractors responsible for work performed at the Fresh Kills landfill in Staten Island with WTC debris ($24.3 million), the insurers for the Marine defendants responsible for the barges transporting WTC debris ($28 million), respirator manufacturer Survivair ($4.15 million) and Tishman ($1.4 million).
Asked whether latecomers to the settlement might still choose to submit their signed settlement documents and obtain settlement funds despite the expiration of the opt-in deadline at midnight on November 16, attorneys representing the plaintiffs could not say with certainty whether the Allocation Neutral and the Court would accept such late-filed papers. "We did everything humanely possible to help our clients decide whether to accept the offer in time to meet the deadline. Of course we will try to convince the Allocation Neutral and the Court to allow late comers to opt in, but there is certainly no guarantee that such late comers will be accommodated now that the deadline has passed," they said in a statement released to the press today.