NEW YORK — A federal judge on Friday rejected a legal settlement of more than a half-billion dollars for people sickened by ash and dust from the World Trade Center, saying the deal to compensate 10,000 police officers, firefighters and other laborers didn't contain enough money for the workers.
U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein also said he was concerned that too much of the deal would be eaten up by legal fees and that ground zero responders were going to be pressured into signing on before they knew how much they stood to receive.
The settlement proposal would have given the workers $575 million to $657 million, but each person's amount was based on a complicated point system that would give some workers only a few thousand dollars while others might qualify for $1 million or more. A third or more of the amount set aside for the workers was expected to go to their lawyers.
It wasn't immediately clear whether the judge's actions would kill the settlement entirely.