A draft settlement has been negotiated in the nearly 10,000 lawsuits seeking damages for respiratory and other ailments allegedly incurred in the first response and massive cleanup after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on the World Trade Center.

“There have been intensive discussions going on, as I’ve been given to understand, looking to settlements of individual cases and globally of all cases,” Southern District of New York Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein disclosed at a Jan. 21 hearing with lawyers for the plaintiffs and counsel for New York City and other defendants, according to a transcript of the session.

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