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Judge to hear plan to pay $657M to WTC responders

NEW YORK (AP) - A judge in New York will be taking a look at a proposed settlement that could pay up to $657 million to more than 10,000 rescue and recovery workers sickened by dust from the destroyed World Trade Center.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg calls the proposal "fair and reasonable."

Most of the money -- or perhaps all of it -- will come from a federal grant.

Lawyers for the city, construction companies and the workers are to appear before U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein today. He must approve the settlement, and so must the more than 10,000 ground zero rescue and recovery workers themselves.

The settlement was announced by the WTC Captive Insurance Co. It was established to indemnify the city and contractors against potential legal action as they cleaned up the site after Sept. 11.


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