On September 19, 2013, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that prostate cancer has been added to the list of diseases eligible for coverage under the Zadroga Act.
In September 2012, 50 different types of cancers became eligible for coverage under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act’s 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, in a decision handed down from Dr. John Howard, director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
Ground Zero first responders stricken with the following cancers will be eligible for coverage under the Zadroga Act.
- Malignant neoplasms of the lip, tongue, salivary gland, floor of mouth, gum and other mouth, tonsil oropharynx, hypopharynx, and other oral cavity and pharynx
- Malignant neoplasm of the nasopharynx
- Malignant neoplasms of the nose, nasal cavity, middle ear, and accessory sinuses
- Malignant neoplasm of the larynx
- Malignant neoplasm of the esophagus
- Malignant neoplasm of the stomach
- Malignant neoplasm of the colon and rectum
- Malignant neoplasm of the liver and intrahepatic bile duct
- Malignant neoplasms of the retroperitoneum and peritoneum, omentum, and mesentery
- Malignant neoplasms of the trachea; bronchus and lung; heart, mediastinum and pleura; and other ill defined sites in the respiratory system and intrathoracic organs
- Malignant neoplasms of the soft tissues (sarcomas)
- Malignant neoplasms of the skin (melanoma and nonmelanoma), including scrotal cancer
- Malignant neoplasm of the breast
- Malignant neoplasm of the ovary
- Malignant neoplasm of the urinary bladder
- Malignant neoplasm of the kidney
- Malignant neoplasms of renal pelvis, ureter and other urinary organs
- Malignant neoplasms of the eye and orbit
- Malignant neoplasm of the thyroid
The Zadroga Act was passed by Congress in December 2010, after much political wrangling. The 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. However, cancers were left off the list of covered illnesses due to a purported lack of scientific evidence that the disease was linked to toxic dust exposure.
In the decision issued today, Howard said he was convinced to include cancer, in part, because of a study, published in The Lancet last summer, found a 19% increase in cancer risk overall in New York City firefighters who responded to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He also relied on the recommendation of the World Trade Center Health Program Scientific/Technical Advisory Committee, which in March issued a recommendation that supported the inclusion of cancer. The cancers will be officially added to the list of covered illnesses after a period of public comment lasting several months.
Special Message from Parker Waichman, Senior Litigation Counsel: Matthew C. McCauley
I write to you not only as an attorney representing hundreds of sick and injured 9/11 first responders, but also as 9/11 first responder myself. While I am one of the lucky ones who have not taken ill, I am proud to stand beside, and on behalf of, my colleagues who have. Some have called it survivor’s guilt (which may be true), but to me it’s the same thing we all did before 9/11 … Protect each other and never leave your partner behind.
You have probably seen recent press reports about the efforts to renew and extend the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. My office staff and I have taken a very active role in assisting with these efforts, including my trips to Capitol Hill to meet with elected officials and our working on the highly successful “Take Action” tool, described further below. While a lot of progress has been made, there is more to do. I want to update you on the issues.
As it now stands, unless Congress passes a reauthorization of the two programs in the Zadroga Act—the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program and the September 11 Victims Compensation Fund (VCF)—, they will both close, leaving responders and survivors such as yourself without the health care that you need and without the full compensation that you deserve. And, if you develop a 9/11-related cancer after the VCF closes, you will not be able to file a claim for compensation for your serious illness.
Without this critical legislation, it is possible that those given awards by the VCF will never receive more than the initial 10 percent provided because there will not be enough funds in the program to pay all of the approved claims. Unless Congress acts to provide enough funds and to extend both programs, your health and financial welfare are at risk.
To prevent this from happening, a bipartisan group of legislators has introduced in Washington the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act: H.R. 1786/ S. 928. ( https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/1786) and ( https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/928)
Carolyn Maloney (Democrat-New York), Jerrold Nadler (Democrat-New York), and Peter King (Republican-New York), nearly 100 other original bi-partisan co-sponsors in the House, Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (Democrat-New York), Chuck Schumer (Democrat-New York), Lisa Murkowski (Republican-Arkansas), and Mark Kirk (Republican-Illinois), were joined by Senators Elizabeth Warren (Democrat-Massachusetts), Bernie Sanders (Democrat-Vermont), Tammy Baldwin (Democrat-Wisconsin), Jeanne Shaheen (Democrat-New Hampshire), Bob Casey, Jr. (Democrat-Pennsylvania), Tom Cotton (Republican-Arkansas), and others—constituting nearly one-quarter of the Senate—are co-sponsors of the Bill in the Senate. (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d114:H.R.1786:%40%40%40P) and (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d114:S.928:%40%40%40P)
The members of Congress who advocate for injured and ill 9/11 responders and survivors are off to a good start with unified New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey delegations working together and with bipartisan support from senators, including Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mark Kirk of Illinois, and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin. It is gratifying to see that these members of the House and Senate all truly remember 9/11 and the thousands of people like you who are still dealing with the impact of the terrorist attacks and the recovery efforts that followed, every day.
Despite this progress, we continue to need your help and the help of all of your friends and relatives, particularly those who live outside the New York and New Jersey metropolitan areas. Support from outside of the New York metropolitan area is critical to the success of the reauthorization bill.
While there are many in Washington who do “Remember 9/11,” sadly there are too many who do not. We all remember the long, hard road to pass the Zadroga Act in the first place; yet, far too many in Washington D.C. do not know your story and the stories of the 33,000 others who have at least one injury from 9/11; who do not appreciate that over 3,900 cases of cancer have been diagnosed, to date, among the responders and survivors in the WTC Health Program; and who do not know that almost every week another 9/11 responder or survivor is dying of 9/11-related injuries.
Here are some things YOU can do to help yourself and thousands of others like you.
SIGN UP AND JOIN CITIZENS FOR THE EXTENSION OF THE JAMES ZADROGA ACT
First, and most important, go to the Citizens for the Extension of the James Zadroga Act website and sign up as a member http://www.renew911health.org. Ask your friends and relatives to join, as well. Once signed up, you will be able to get information on how the legislation is progressing and how you can help, based on where you live. You will also be able to obtain specific updates on what your Senators and Members of Congress are doing and if they are supporting you and other injured and ill 9/11 responders and survivors. Note: Citizens for the Extension will NOT share any emails or address they collect with outside parties.
CONTACT YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Citizens for the Extension of the Zadroga Act, has created a “Take Action” tool, (http://www.renew911health.org/take-action/take-action-contact-your-members-of-congress/) which enables users to compare public statements made by Members of Congress in the aftermath of 9/11, as well as their actions taken to support injured and ill 9/11 survivors and responders. Many Members of Congress who have, in the past, spoken about “never forgetting” the heroes of 9/11 have not yet taken a stand on the legislation to renew and permanently extend the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. The “Take Action” tool will enable you, as a responder or a survivor, to determine whether your Members of Congress are supporters and will help you to contact them in Washington, through phone calls, websites, and tweets.
With the information provided by this web tool, users may either thank their senators and representatives for co-sponsoring the legislation, or, if they have not yet done so, urge them to co-sponsor the bipartisan legislation that has nearly 100 sponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives and almost one-quarter of the members in the U.S. Senate.
You and your relatives and friends need to contact these lawmakers IMMEDIATELY. If you were at Ground Zero, the Pentagon, or the Shanksville crash site, you need to call your Congressional members and senators and let them know how your health has been affected by the 9/11 attacks, your follow-up recovery, and that “Remembering 9/11” should be more than a bumper sticker.
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It is imperative that you share this information with those who you have connections with outside of New York. Please get these friends, family members and colleagues involved as much as you can. Their voices will be heard if they “take action,” and in most instances it only involves a phone call, email, letter or all of them.
Fraternally & Best Regards,
Matthew J. McCauley
Senior Litigation Counsel
Parker Waichman, LLP
Zadroga Act WTC Ground Zero Hero Claim Lawsuits
One Law Firm Refusing To Represent 9/11 Rescue & Recovery Workers In Zadroga Act Claims
Apparently, one law firm is refusing to represent 9/11 rescue and recovery workers in Zadroga Act claims if they have already assisted these clients in obtaining compensation via the World Trade Center Toxic Dust Settlement. Our clients can be assured that Parker Waichman LLP will assist every Ground Zero first responder who wishes to file a claim for Zadroga Act compensation, even if we are legally barred from collecting a fee for those services.
Any first responder who worked at Ground Zero and later became ill is eligible to file for compensation under the Zadroga Act. This includes 9/11 rescue and recovery workers who also took part in the World Trade Center Toxic Dust Settlement. That settlement, which was finalized in 2010 by New York City, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and a number of contractors involved in Ground Zero clean-up efforts, set aside more than $600 million for 9/11 first responders who suffered respiratory ailments and other health problems because of their exposure to toxic dust.
Law firms that represented World Trade Center Toxic Dust Settlement claimants were entitled to collect a 25 percent fee for those services. By law, attorneys are forbidden from further billing those clients for assistance with Zadroga Act claims, though nothing in the Act prevents any law firm from representing 9/11 responders in both types of claims. These fee stipulations are apparently behind one large law firm’s decision to turn away Zadroga Act clients if they have already represented those individuals in the toxic dust settlement.
According to the New York Post: ” ‘By preventing us to be paid for our overhead and services, it essentially precludes us from representing the interests of our litigation clients’ in the new Victim Compensation Fund, says a letter from Worby Groner Edelman & Napoli Bern.”
The New York Post Report goes on to quote John Feal, an advocate for 9/11 responders: ” ‘This firm made over $200 million from the mass tort — you would think there would be a moral obligation to represent those sick and dying under Zadroga pro bono,’ he said.”
The attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP are committed to ensuring that every hero of 9/11 receives all of the compensation they need and deserve. Parker Waichman LLP has vowed not to turn away any Ground Zero first responder who needs our help, regardless of the circumstances.
9/11 First Responder Speaks Out About Health Issues and Zadroga Bill
Anthony is a Retired NYPD Highway Patrol Officer and 9/11 First Responder who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Reactive Airway Disease (RAD) and other various illnesses because of his exposure to toxic dust.
9/11 First Responder, Cancer Survivor Speaks Out on Zadroga Bill
Rob is a Retired NYPD Detective, WTC First Responder, Cancer Survivor, Husband, Father and Hero. Rob was diagnosed with cancer after working at the WTC recovery effort at the Staten Island landfill.
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 Zadroga Act lawyer, please fill out our online form, or call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) today.
Robert the 9/11 Responder and the Zadroga Act: A Case Study – New York Attorney Matthew McCauley
Attorney Matthew McCauley of Parker Waichman recalls the case of Robert, a first responder in the World Trade Center tragedy who became ill and struggled with whether or not to move forward with litigation.
Mayor de Blasio and New York’s Congressional Delegation discusses the illnesses caused by 9/11
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.
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