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FealGood Decries City’s Opposition of Bonus Payments

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 7:45 pm    Post subject: FealGood Decries City’s Opposition of Bonus Payments
From Sep 22, 2011 to Sep 24, 2011 (included)
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FealGood Foundation Decries City’s Opposition of Bonus Payments

For Immediate Release: The FealGood Foundation well known advocates for the rights of first responders and construction personnel injured in the post-9/11 rescue, recovery and debris-removal effort at the site of the World Trade Center. Today condemned the City of New York’s efforts, along with its contractors and insurance carrier, the WTC Captive Insurance Co., Inc., to avoid paying some $55 million dollars in “Contingent Payments” required under the City’s settlement of the World Trade Center Disaster Site Litigations that were pending before the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The Contingent Payments were additional money that should have been paid to some of the settling plaintiffs based on the relative percentage of additional settling plaintiffs who “opted-in” to the City’s settlement over the 99% participation threshold.
The additional money is to be distributed to the most seriously injured of the settling plaintiffs in addition to the settlement awards they are already entitled to collect based on the severity of their injuries. In December, 2010, the District Court Ordered the City to accept settlement claims by a group of plaintiffs who had missed the settlement opt-in deadline, holding also that these additional settling plaintiffs had triggered the City’s obligation to pay the Contingent Payments. The City objected to the Contingent Payments, but on September 8, 2011 the District Court ordered the payments to be made, while also holding that the plaintiff’s attorneys should not be allowed to collect their contractual attorneys’ fees on this additional money. On September 21, 2011, the City filed eight Notices of Appeal from the September 8 Order as well as a motion for a stay of execution of that order and a waiver of the City’s obligation to post a bond to cover the full amount of the contingent payments plus interest on that amount while the appeal is pending before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. An appeal to the Second Circuit could take as long as two years for briefing, oral argument and resolution by the Court.
“The Judge gave the City time to object to his ruling back in January and then took nine months to reach a determination that the Captive was required to pay the Contingent Payments,” said John Feal. “This money should be paid immediately to the men and women who are struggling with life-threatening illnesses as a result of their work at Ground Zero when their City and their Country needed them.” Feal cited the City’s long and expensive battle against the plaintiffs through eight years of litigation, saying “it is shameful that the City and its insurer continue to pay their attorneys hundreds of millions of dollars to litigate against the injured first responders who were supposed to be the beneficiaries of the FEMA grant of a billion dollars.” “I call on the City and its insurer to stop fighting the 9/11 heroes and pay the money their Settlement Agreement requires,” said Feal.
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