By Mariel S. Clark
DNAinfo News Editor
MANHATTAN — Ground Zero workers who joined a multimillion-dollar settlement against the city will now have to wait a little longer to know if enough people opted in for the settlement to go forward, according to media reports.
In order to collect on the $712 million settlement, 95 percent of the 10,000 plaintiffs had to join up and file notarized paperwork by 11:59 Monday night.
But with just hours to go, the judge presiding over the suit issued a gag order meaning neither side could say if the threshold was hit until all the paperwork had been processed, something that could take a few more days.
Manhattan federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein cited the "huge influx" of people joining as the deadline approached saying it "taxed the capacity to process" them on time, according to the New York Post.
They now have until Thursday afternoon to finalize the paperwork, according to the New York Times.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of thousands of workers who said they were sickened from cleaning up after the Sept. 11 attacks without proper protective gear or supervision by the city.
Attorneys for the plaintiffs reportedly said in emails that they expected to hit the 95 percent mark, according to the Daily News.
But they reportedly also urged any clients holding out to join before the deadline passed, the News reported.
"The more who accept, the less chance the defendants will keep the money!" said an email from Worby Groner Edelman & Napoli Bern, the firm representing the group, according to the paper.