[JURIST] New York City is willing to discuss settlement in a federal lawsuit filed on behalf of over 9,000 firefighters and cleanup workers who may have inhaled toxic dust during the post-9/11 World Trade Center cleanup, Mayor Michael Bloomberg [official website] said Tuesday:"Every time we are sued we will always take a look and see whether there is a way to come to a settlement in everybody's interests....Plain and simple: We're just going to talk and explore." Bloomberg's statement to reporters came in response to a New York Daily News report on a client letter sent from Marc Bern [law firm profile], a lawyer representing the workers, that the city was willing to negotiate and giving them one month to allow him to enter into talks on their behalf. Until recently, the city had been reluctant to enter into settlement talks and it is still supporting a congressional measure, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act [summary, PDF; text, PDF], that would provide blanket compensation and health care for those exposed to the dust and smoke in the World Trade Centre collapse. Reuters has more. The New York Times has additional coverage.
Last October, a federal judge allowed the lawsuit to proceed [JURIST report] over city objections that it had immunity; he also dismissed claims against the previous leaseholders on the site, because they did not participate in the cleanup. The original suit was brought [JURIST report] in September 2004, on the last day possible before the statute of limitations on the action would have run out.