For Americans, 9/11 is a day that will always be remembered. Two planes crashed into the World Trade Center, killing thousands of people in the buildings, passengers on the planes, and emergency responders at the scene. Both buildings were destroyed.
Workers began clearing the debris from the area. However, they started to experience respiratory problems due to exposure to toxic substances from the debris. Many of the workers filed a claim against the city claiming which alleged that responders and workers were not properly protected from exposure to toxic debris. Just today a settlement was reached to provide compensation benefits for the workers’ injuries.
Though the settlement amount is a very large amount of money, many believe that it is still not enough to compensate the workers for their injuries. There are over 10,000 workers who are plaintiffs in the settlement claim. It is believed that this number is lower than the actual number of workers who suffered injuries after 9/11. Representatives for the city believe there are many who have not yet filed an injury-related claim.
In addition to the settlement, there is a bill currently under review that would provide medical coverage and financial aid to workers who first responded when the attacks occurred. This bill also includes individuals who survived the attack and were also exposed to the toxic debris.
This type of work injury may not be as obvious initially as other injuries such as dismemberment or crush injuries. However, exposure to toxic substances can greatly impact one’s ability to perform work functions. The article does not specify what sort of respiratory problems the workers have experienced, but any respiratory problem can make physical activity more difficult.
Regardless, this settlement will do a lot to help many of the workers move forward in their lives. It is the culmination of a seven-year dispute between the workers and the city of New York.
Source: CNN online, “9/11 workers approve a settlement with New York City,” 19 November 2010