Judge opens door to Ground Zero lawsuits

Oct. 18, 2006 at 8:57 AM

NEW YORK, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- New York is not entirely immune from lawsuits from rescue workers made sick at the World Trade Center wreckage in 2001, a U.S. judge has ruled.

In a 99-page ruling, Judge Alvin Hellerstein of U.S. District Court in Manhattan said the city's protection by state and federal statutes is not universal, and litigation would have to be considered on a case-by-case basis, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

More than 8,000 emergency and construction workers have filed suit against the city and scores of its contractors who worked on the cleanup of the site.

The city had filed a motion to dismiss suits seeking damages for various illnesses that developed after workers were exposed to dust and hazardous materials when the towers fell after being rammed by hijacked aircraft.

Lawyer David Worby, who is leading the legal action on behalf of the workers, praised the ruling and told the Times after he informed some of his clients about it, they cried.

"It all started with people telling them what they had was just a cough and it's taken three years to prove that that was not true," Worby said.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
North Korea officials defecting in fear of rising executions
North Korea: Airport terminal is 'new face' of country
Compact cannon for British armored vehicles
Texas police body cam video shows fatal shooting
North Korea seeks help from Iran in battle against drought