WTC Settlement Revived

The World Trade Center bombing has spawned litigation concerning the scope of property coverage available to the site’s property owners and lessee as well as claims for bodily injury and property damages arising from the events of that tragic day. In breaking news, the City of New York and its contractors have reached a tentative revised settlement with the plaintiffs in the MC 100 litigation involving “on site, ground zero” bodily injury claims.

The new settlement proposal was presented to Judge Alvin Hellerstein of the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York on June 10, 2010 and seemed to receive his blessing. The significant changes from the earlier proposal include: (1) increasing the total settlement package to $712.5 million from the previous $575-$657.5 million; and (2) reducing the plaintiffs’ attorneys fees to 25% from 33 %. The net result is that the pool of funds available to the MC 100 plaintiffs will be substantially increased between the additional money paid on behalf of the City and the 20 % reduction in attorneys fees. Judge Hellerstein has scheduled a “fairness hearing” on June 23, 2010 which will be open for comment by the attorneys, plaintiffs and members of the general public.

It is unclear how this settlement will affect the remaining MC 101, 102 and 103 dockets. However, it is fair to surmise that once the MC 100 litigation is resolved, the court will turn its attention to moving those other dockets to a conclusion either through settlement or a trial of several test cases.

If you have any questions or comments about this post, please email Paul at pclark@wcmlaw.com