11,000 Ground Zero rescue, cleanup workers to share 657 million dollars-insurance payout

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New York, Mar 12(ANI): Over 11,000 Ground Zero (World Trade Centre) rescue and cleanup workers stand to earn up to 657 million dollars after a tentative settlement was reached in a complex case that has been going on since 2004.

According to reports, the proposal, presented to Manhattan federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein, must be approved by 95 percent of the firefighters, police officers, medics and hardhats- many of whom were sickened by working in the toxic debris at the site.

If approved, each worker whose illness is confirmed would get a sum based on the type and severity of his or her medical problem, and individual payments could run as high as one million dollars.

It is believed that the payment amount to each worker will be determined on the basis of "severity charts" prepared by special masters appointed by Judge Hellerstein and lawyers for both sides.

The special masters and lawyers have worked the chart which would grade individual conditions on a scale from zero to four, The New York Post reports.

Those who claim to have physical illnesses that have not been confirmed by doctors would collect the minimum payment 3,200 dollars.

The payouts would come from the WTC Captive Insurance Co., which was created by New York City with funding from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in July 2004. It is controlled by Mayor Bloomberg that manages one billion dollars provided by Congress.

However, people with stress related and other psychological problems would not be compensated.

In addition to the proposal, some workers will also get an insurance policy to cover Ground Zero-related illnesses that have not yet developed. (ANI)

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