The New York Sun
March 27, 2008
A federal appeals court has refused to give New York City immunity from the lawsuits of thousands of city workers and construction laborers who say they now suffer from respiratory illnesses after they helped clean up ground zero in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
The lawsuits claim that the city failed to ensure that ground zero was a safe work place. High among the claims is the assertion that the city failed to enforce rules requiring workers to wear respirators while working amid the toxins and rubble.
Citing the unprecedented nature of the disaster, New York City and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, both defendants in the suits, have argued that they are entitled to immunity from the claims. The defendants say they cannot be required to pay out to the workers what could amount to billions of dollars in damages.
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