Most 9/11 responders settle suits over WTC dust

In this Sept. 14, 2001 photo, a firefighter emerges from the smoke and debris of the World Trade Center in New York. Researchers tracking responders who became ill after working at the World Trade Center site found many had lung problems more than five years after the attacks. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy, Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Jim Watson)

November 19, 2010 10:54:29 AM PST
More than 10,000 people have joined a legal settlement that will pay hundreds of millions of dollars to ground zero workers exposed to toxic World Trade Center dust. The near-universal acceptance of the deal was announced by a court Friday.

It will mean an end to most litigation over New York City's failure to provide protective equipment to construction workers, police and firefighters who cleared rubble.

Only around 500 of the thousands who sued the city over the cleanup declined to take the offer.

At least 95 percent had to sign on to make the deal effective. It just cleared that hurdle, with 95.1 percent.

The settlement will provide at least $625 million. Related deals could boost that total to more than $725 million.