9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Reopened on October 3, 2011 Under the 2010 Zadroga Act, the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund has been reopened for five years to provide payment for job and economic losses for those who suffered illness or injury working at Ground Zero. Parker Waichman LLP is working closely with Sheila Birnbaum, Special Master of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, to ensure that the claims filed on behalf of their clients are handled in an expeditious and fair manner.
The Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which became law in December 2010, was named after deceased New York Police Department detective James Zadroga, who had worked at Ground Zero. Many of the individuals who participated in the rescue and recovery efforts following the attacks have since been diagnosed with various illnesses because of their exposure to toxic dust.
The Zadroga Act reopened the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund for five years to provide payment for job and economic losses for first responders, those trapped in the buildings, and local residents, who suffered illness or injuries related to the toxic dust.
If you or a loved one are among the Ground Zero heroes who will 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 9/11 VCF claims lawyer, please fill out our online form, or call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) today. Learn More…
Study: Link between WTC Firefighters, Cancer “Plausible”
Firefighters who worked at Ground Zero are 19 percent more likely to have cancer than their colleagues who did not work at the site, according to newly published research that could pave the way for government payments to those suffering from some types of cancer.
Menlo Park, CA. resident, 9/11 First Responder battling illness and “WTC Cough”
Harold Schapelhouman, former captain and task force leader for California Search & Rescue is one of the thousands of 9/11 first reposnders that has shown signs of debilitating illnesses from breathing the dust at Ground Zero. Seventy percent of his team has gotten sick from their time at Ground Zero.
Video From Yahoo! News
9/11 Zadroga Bill Affects Survivors, as seen on NBC Nightly News
Matt McCauley, an attorney with Parker Waichman LLP representing 9/11 victims, shared his reaction to news of the study that found no link between the toxins at ground zero and cancer, thus keeping 9/11 survivors with cancer from receiving the benefits of the Zadroga Bill.
Video From NBC NY Nightly News
Government Says Not Enough Evidence to Add Cancer to 9/11 Health List
Parker Waichman LLP, a national law firm representing 9/11 victims, fears excluding cancer victims from the Zadroga Act will leave many left out of the WTC Toxic Dust Settlement without adequate health care. The Zadroga Act was the last hope for many cancer-stricken Ground Zero first responders who lack adequate health insurance.
Video From New York One
Hampstead, N.C. man “disgusted” with federal 9/11 Zadroga Bill review.
Ground zero residents and first responders sick with cancer will continue to be excluded from receiving help from the federal government program created to aid victims of the September 11 World Trade Center terror attacks until at least 2012.
Video From WECT6
James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act World Trade Center Ground Zero Hero Claim
The Associated Press (AP) is breaking with news about a deadline extension for thousands of Ground Zero workers to settle lawsuits over exposure to the toxic dust that covered the World Trade Center (WTC) following the 9/11 attacks. Some 10,000 Ground Zero workers say they became ill as a result of their rescue, recovery, and clean-up efforts in the days and months following the attacks.
Attorneys involved ditched the September 8th deadline that enabled workers to accept or reject a settlement estimated to be worth some $713 million, noted the AP, extending the deadline to November 8th. The extension was made due to “unexpected logistical delays” said WTC Captive Insurance Co., the insurance entity Congress created to defend the City against litigation related to the attacks, said the AP. Workers who join in the settlement must drop legal claims against the City and demolition companies involved in the clean-up in exchange for payments ranging anywhere from a few thousand to over $1 million, noted the AP.
WTC Captive President and CEO Christine LaSala said the extension is being made to enable plaintiffs more time to speak to their attorneys. Apparently, noted the AP, some workers did not receive their letters detailing potential settlement amounts until a few weeks ago. Some debates about legal fees related to the case were also cited as one of the reasons for the extension.
Since 2003, upwards of 10,000 firefighters, police officers, construction workers, and emergency responders have filed lawsuits against 90 defendants over illnesses they say were caused by exposure to toxic dust at Ground Zero following the attacks. They also allege that the defendants, including New York City, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and construction companies, failed to adequately supervise and protect them with safety equipment during rescue and clean-up efforts.
Plaintiffs Fear Of Future Illness
According to a prior AP report, approximately half of those covered in the settlement either aren’t ill or suffer from minor issues but became involved over fears of future illness. Plaintiffs claiming fear of future illness, but who do not present with an injury that qualifies under the settlement accord, will receive smaller payouts of 3,250 to $11,000. About 94 percent of the settlement, said the AP, will go toward the most serious illnesses—lung cancer, emphysema—while one-quarter will pay legal fees. Individual settlements will be based on illness severity; how much time the plaintiff spent at the WTC site; and other issues including age, health history, and if the illness can be associated with WTC dust, explained the AP.
Before the deal can be considered final, it must receive majority approval—95 percent—from the plaintiffs, said the AP previously; the exact amount is dependent on how many people accept and could pay anywhere from $625 to $712.5 million, said the AP, noting that if 600 decline, the entire deal is null. To date, said the AP, over 5,000 people—about half the workers—have agreed to the deal, which is favorable, but not complete, citing WTC Captive.
Meanwhile, the Hamptons.com reports that Ground Zero Workers have until Monday, September 13 to register with the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board to ensure future benefit eligibility. “I urge each of these heroes who performed that important work to register his or her service,” said Chair Robert E. Beloten, quoted Hamptons.com. “Workers’ compensation is insurance for medical care and a cash benefit if your ability to work is impaired. It is vital that workers preserve their eligibility for insurance that will benefit themselves and their families, even if they are not now injured or ill,” Beloten added.
Since its introduction in 2006, 35,980 people have filed WTC Workers Compensation paperwork, to date, said Hamptons.com. Although not a claim, the documents enable employee and volunteer workers to file future claims if the Board is notified of their Ground Zero clean-up efforts. According to Hamptons.com, those involved in the cleanup in and around Canal Street; Fresh Kills Landfill; and on the barges, piers, and morgues, up until September 12, 2002, should file, regardless of the length of their service.
WTC – Settlement Agreement – WORLD TRADE CENTER LITIGATION SETTLEMENT PROCESS AGREEMENT, AS AMENDED Download PDF
WTC – Settlement Agreement – Exh. B – WORK VERIFICATION PROCEDURE Download PDF
WTC – Settlement Agreement – Exh. C – SETTLEMENT GRID Download PDF
WTC – Settlement Agreement – Exh. D – QUALIFYING SURGERIES Download PDF
WTC – Settlement Agreement – Exh. E – CANCER INSURANCE POLICY Download PDF
WTC – Settlement Agreement – Exh. F – AGE ADJUSTMENT FACTOR TABLE Download PDF
WTC – Settlement Agreement – Exh. G – LIST OF ADJUDICATORY BODIES Download PDF
WTC – Settlement Agreement – Exh. H – SECOND INJURY LETTER Download PDF
WTC – Settlement Agreement – Exh. I – LIST OF PLAINTIFFS POTENTIALLY ELIGIBLE FOR MIXED ORTHOPEDIC INJURY PAYMENTS Download PDF
WTC – Settlement Agreement – Exh. J – ALLOCATION PROCESS TIMELINE Download PDF
WTC – Settlement Agreement – Exh. K – CASE MANAGEMENT ORDERS FOR EACH MASTER DOCKET Download PDF
WTC – Settlement Agreement – Exh. L – TIER 1 CLAIM FORM FOR PRIMARY PLAINTIFF Download PDF
WTC – Settlement Agreement – Exh. M – TIER 2 CLAIM FORM FOR PRIMARY PLAINTIFF Download PDF
WTC – Settlement Agreement – Exh. N – TIER 3 CLAIM FORM FOR PRIMARY PLAINTIFF Download PDF
WTC – Settlement Agreement – Exh. O – TIER 4 CLAIM FORM FOR PRIMARY PLAINTIFF Download PDF
WTC – Settlement Agreement – Exh. P – RELEASE AND COVENANT NOT TO SUE Download PDF
WTC – Settlement Agreement – Exh. Q – ASTHMA IMPAIRMENT CRITERIA Download PDF
WTC – Settlement Agreement – Exh. R – AFFIRMATION OF FINAL SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT Download PDF
WTC – Settlement Agreement – Exh. S – STIPULATION OF VOLUNTARY DISMISSAL Download PDF
WTC – Settlement Agreement – Exh. T – STIPULATED ORDER OF DISMISSAL WITH PREJUDICE PURSUANT TO FINAL SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT Download PDF
Client Letter Regarding WTC – Settlement Agreement Download PDF
On May 7, 2007, in the first clinical study to connect World Trade Center dust to serious and on occasion fatal diseases, doctors discovered that the number of New York City rescue and recovery workers with a rare type of lung-scarring condition soared in the year after the trade center collapsed. Doctors from the Fire Department and at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine found that 13 firefighters and emergency medical service workers developed sarcoidosis.
The authors of the study, which include Dr. David J. Prezant, deputy chief medical officer of the Fire Department and a member of the faculty at Albert Einstein calculated an incidence rate in the first year after the collapse of 86 cases per 100,000 workers. This finding is more than five times higher than the 15 per 100,000 rate (an average of two to four cases per year) for Firefighter Department workers in the 15 years before the trade center collapsed.
After the original rise in disease rates after 9/11, the number of cases of sarcoidosis and similar illnesses dropped, according to the study, but remained rather higher than normal for several more years, equivalent to a rate of 22 per 100,000 (with no more than four cases each year). In total, doctors found 26 cases of sarcoidosis in the five years after 9/11, an amount surpassing the combined total for the previous 15 years.
Health Impact Studies
Several federal and local studies of the health impact of contact with to World Trade Center dust have shown that a high percentage of rescue and recovery workers developed persistent coughs and other respiratory problems. But until now, there has not been enough data available to say with certainty whether more serious illnesses might develop.
The new peer-reviewed study, released on May 7, 200, which can be found in the medical journal Chest, is considered to have a high degree of reliability because yearly checkups by department doctors make it possible to compare a firefighter’s condition before and after 9/11. Other clinical studies are usually based on conditions reported by rescue and recovery workers.
On average, the firefighters and emergency workers with sarcoidosis were 39 years old and had 10 years’ experience on the job. Of the 26 workers who have the illness, 24 said they never smoked tobacco, and the other two were described as ex-smokers.
When disaster struck on 9/11 brave emergency workers rushed to Ground Zero to help in anyway they could. Following 9/11 it is estimated that as many as 50,000 at Ground Zero wore little or no protective gear. Now these same workers who risked their lives to save others are plagued by chronic health problems and are not receiving the treatment and support they deserve. Many sick patients have been denied compensation because they cannot prove they were at Ground Zero or that their illnesses were the direct result of Ground Zero exposure.
Workers Suffer Health Problems
Many workers have developed health problems that have caused them to stop working, causing them not only to lose their salaries but also their health insurance. These heroes are suffering because they can no longer afford medication and treatment. But as the debate continues the number of illnesses and deaths increases. Emergency workers have experienced a wide array of medical problems including a persistent cough, now labeled “World trade center cough” and black lung disease.
The administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency at the time, Christie Whitman, assured New Yorkers their air was “safe to breathe”. Several groups have since filed class action lawsuits against her and her agency, and a federal judge called her statements “conscience-shocking.” Even the EPA’s own inspector general has criticized the agency’s handling of the crisis. A 2003 report found that on the basis of early tests for asbestos, which had been reassuring, the EPA made misleading pronouncements about air quality. And the White House, the report said, removed cautionary language from the agency’s press releases.
A further study by the US general accounting office in 2004 found that the federal government had taken no comprehensive actions to study the health effects of 9/11 pollution and “the full health impact of the attack is unknown”. This is what concerns doctors the most. Dr. Moline who is running a screening program for these workers at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York said “that diseases could take years to develop. Her concerns start with cancer, but extend to potential effects on the heart and a variety of lung and respiratory problems. She advises screening exposed workers every 18 months for at least 20 years.
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