PW Remains Dedicated to 9/11 Victims
As Other Law Firm Faces Crisis Related to Victim Compensation Fund Clients, Parker Waichman LLP Remains Dedicated to Rights of 9/11 Heroes
After the horrific events of September 11th, it seems unthinkable that anyone would try to take advantage of the first responders and rescue workers who risked their lives to save others. Unfortunately, however, the New York Post reports that this may allegedly be the case with the 9/11 law firm of Napoli Bern. The firm is accused of overbilling its legal partner by $36 million “in a greedy grab for blood money,” the Post reports. New York Law Journal reports that the firm is in a state of crisis due to a breach of contract between the founding partners and other lawsuits. At this point, it us unknown how, and to what extent, these unfortunate circumstances may impact the firm’s 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) clients.
Parker Waichman LLP has never stopped fighting for the rights of 9/11 heroes. As a firm that has continually dedicated its time and efforts to supporting and expanding the Zadroga Act to include more conditions related to 9/11, our firm is here to answer any questions you may have about your legal rights. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation legal consultation.
How will Napoli Bern 9/11 Zadroga Act Clients be affected by Crisis?
According to the New York Post, court papers allege that Napoli Bern overbilled its legal partner by $36 million in expenses. The Post reports that 10,000 police officers, firefighters, construction workers, and others received more than $700 million in settlements for injuries and illnesses related to 9/11, and the allegations raise questions about the additional $50 million billed to the victims for additional legal expenses.
John Feal, head of the non-profit 9/11 Victim and First Responders Fealgood Foundation, has called on authorities to investigate reports of financial mishandling. In referring to the proportion of legal complaints he hears about the firm, Feal told the New York Post “It’s outrageous and disgusting,”
New York Law Journal reports that Napoli Bern “is facing implosion and a court-appointed receiver has been designated to oversee firm finances” in light of a breach of contract lawsuit between managing partners Paul Napoli and Marc Bern. In addition, the firm is also facing several other lawsuits among firm lawyers, creating even more issues. In a court conference that took place on November 7, 2014, Justice Eileen Bransten stated, "Right now, this firm is in a state of total crisis,” and “It is on the verge of going into free fall to complete disaster.” Bransten also stated that, “the depth of hatred in this instance is extraordinary.”
In light of the circumstances, Justice Bransten appointed former Nassau County Supreme Court Justice, Ira Warshawsky, as “receiver” to manage the firm’s assets and finances. A court appoints a receiver to function as a neutral party in handling disputed property in the midst of litigation, pending its conclusion. A receiver may also be appointed to manage an endangered property for the benefits of clients who have legitimate rights to that property.
When a law firm is racked with substantial internal issues and is seen as being in a state of crisis, many attorneys leave the firm for more stable positions. This can leave the firm understaffed and overwhelmed, potentially leading to an “implosion.”
It is uncertain how the firm’s legal debacle will end, but the main priority in the situation should be on 9/11 victims and their rights.
VCF Provides Compensation for 9/11-Related Injuries and Illness
The Zadroga Act, which was signed into law in early 2011, reopened the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. Through this fund, first responders, residents, and victims can file claims for illness, injuries, or death caused by the September 11th attacks. The Zadroga Act also established the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program to help monitor and treat those who have health problems related to 9/11.
Exposure to toxic substances during 9/11 is associated with over 60 types of cancer, respiratory illnesses, and other conditions.
According to the 3rd Annual Report released by the VCF, 16,833 eligibility forms have been submitted to the fund as of September 30th, 2014. As of that day, the fund “has made determinations for compensation of $551,269,835 million dollars—an increase of $57,503,162 since the beginning of September.”
Legal Help for 9/11 First Responders and Victims
If you or a loved one are among the Ground Zero heroes who should benefit from the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, it is important that you retain legal counsel to protect your rights. To speak with an experienced Zadroga Act attorney, fill out our online form or call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) today.