9/11 Victims Compensation Fund May Be Inadequate to Cover Future Claims of First Responders, Says NYC Attorney
Vocus/PR Web PRESS RELEASE
New York, NY | Published 7/7/2011
$2.75 billion fund created by The Zadroga Act may not cover tens of thousands of potential claimants, says Jimmy Zadroga’s NY personal injury lawyer Michael Barasch
The proposed regulations for administration of the 9/11 victim compensation fund established by Congress to benefit first responders and residents of lower Manhattan could well be insufficient to cover future claims by rescue workers whose illnesses aren’t yet fully known, according to New York personal injury attorney Michael Barasch.
The fund was established by The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act to provide compensation to those who became sick and/or disabled as a result of their exposure to the WTC toxic dust. The fund also will provide medical care and treatment for those illnesses that have already been linked WTC toxins, as well as cover additional health conditions as scientific knowledge evolves, such as cancer. The Zadroga Act is named after Detective Jimmy Zadroga, a client of Barasch’s law firm, Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson, PC.
“Having represented thousands of 9/11 first-responders who subsequently developed fatal, disabling and/or chronic illnesses, I’m pleased with the progress of the victims compensation fund but have real concerns about whether the Congress-imposed cap will be sufficient,” said Barasch. “There could conceivably be tens of thousands of potential claimants, many of whom aren’t yet even aware of the extent of their illnesses, in which case there may not be enough money available for legitimate claims.”
The 9/11 victims compensation fund (VCF) allocates $2.7 billion over a period of years to those individuals who are suffering from diseases linked to the 9/11 attacks, the cleanup efforts and the subsequent recovery projects. It is principally designed to assist rescue workers who responded to the scene, residents in the immediate neighborhood around the crash site in lower Manhattan, and other workers who came into the area as part of the cleanup.
The proposed regulations for how the fund will be administered are available for public comment until August 5th. Barasch has met with VCF Special Master Shiela Birnbaum several times and is advocating on behalf of hundreds of rescue workers to ensure that the final rules are as fair and inclusive as the new law permits.
About Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson, PC
The New York personal injury law firm of Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson, PC is one of New York's most prominent firms concentrating in the areas of personal injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice and firefighter rights. With nearly 100 years of collective legal experience, the firm’s personal injury attorneys have won landmark decisions in favor of its clients in some of the nation's highest courts. For more information, please go to http://www.personalinjuryjustice.com.