Southern District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein gave his stamp of approval Thursday to a renegotiated settlement of suits filed by 10,000 plaintiffs who suffered respiratory and other illnesses in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks.

Almost three months after sending the lawyers back to the bargaining table because he said that their original $657 million pact paid too little to injured rescue and cleanup workers, Hellerstein pronounced his enthusiastic support for the new settlement.