(NEW YORK) -- The $625 million settlement for 9/11 emergency responders who sued New York City over health risks at Ground Zero has been approved. More than 10,000 workers are involved in the suit, which combined many lawsuits over the city's failure to provide protective gear as crews worked to remove soot and ash in the post 9/11 cleanup.
Thousands of people who worked at the wreckage of the World Trade Center have fallen ill since the terror attacks that brought the buildings down in 2001, and more than 900 have died of illnesses related to their work at Ground Zero.
Tuesday was the deadline for workers to opt in or out and 95 percent of those who sued had to agree to participate for the deal to be approved. On Friday, it was announced that enough workers had signed on. Mayor Michael Bloomburg issued a statement, saying "this settlement is a fair and just resolution of these claims, protecting those who came to the aid of this city when we needed it most."
There are other defendants, including the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The other defendants involvement could inject more money into the settlement.
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