NEW YORK - (AP) - Thousands of laborers, police officers andfirefighters suing New York City over their exposure to toxic WorldTrade Center dust have until Monday to decide whether to join alegal settlement.

The settlement could ultimately pay them as much as $815million. Under the terms of the deal, at least 95 percent of theplaintiffs must opt to participate for the settlement to becomeeffective.

More than 10,000 people have sued the city and a long list ofcompanies that handled the massive cleanup of lower Manhattan afterthe 9/11 attacks.

Many claim to be suffering from illnesses caused by inhaling thepulverized remnants of the twin towers.