“We are pleased to see that, in the end, the Zadroga Act was passed by a unanimous vote showing nationwide support for the first responders that came to help, and as a result, suffered lifelong injures..."
Port Washington, NY (PRWEB) December 25, 2010
Parker Waichman Alonso LLP praises the passage of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which will greatly ease the burden faced by sickened World Trade Center responders. The firm particularly commends the work of New York lawmakers US Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney and Peter King, and Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer, for their untiring efforts to ensure that our Ground Zero heroes, who bravely heeded New York City's call for help following the horrific 9/11 terrorist attacks, are not forgotten in their hour of need.
While the final Zadroga Act was not everything that Ground Zero responders and their advocates had hoped for, it is still seen as a victory.
“We are pleased to see that, in the end, the Zadroga Act was passed by a unanimous vote showing nationwide support for the first responders that came to help, and as a result, suffered lifelong injures. Congresswoman Maloney and her staff worked tirelessly to get the word out that the Zadroga Act’s benefits stretch across the Country to assist those in need and it is not limited to just those that currently reside in New York," said Matthew J. McCauley, an attorney with Parker Waichman Alonso LLP. "As such, our clients from Chicago, North Carolina and Florida, all of whom were first responders on September 11, have been recently highlighted in new stories and have met with Senators and other political representatives from their jurisdiction. These meetings would not have happened and their stories would have been told if it was not for Congresswoman Maloney."
The passage of the Zadroga Act is especially important to the 325 Ground Zero responders who were left out of the recently approved World Trade Center Toxic Dust Settlement. McCauley and Parker Waichman Alonso LLP represent 13 of those forgotten heroes, and are appealing the refusal of the United States District Court to enlarge the group of claimants to include those responders.
"While we are happy to see that this Act will provide help to our clients, we remain vigilant in our efforts to make those first responders that were excluded from the WTC litigation settlement eligible. Parker Waichman Alonso’s appeal on this issue before the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit will continue and we expect it to be argued in the coming months," McCauley continued. “While we know that no Act or Bill can erase the damage that has been done, we are hopeful that it will assist with closure for those injured and their families and bring a little more joy at this time of the year.”
The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act is named after a deceased New York Police Department detective who had worked at Ground Zero. In the years following the attacks, researchers have determined that the thick plume of dust and debris that resulted from the collapse of the World Trade Center towers contained a toxic mix of compounds including asbestos, lead and jet fuel. Many of the individuals who worked in rescue and recovery efforts following the attacks have since been diagnosed with various illnesses, including cancers and respiratory diseases. Tragically, some of these heroes have even succumbed to their illnesses in the ensuing years.
The Zadroga Act was approved after years of intense negotiations. In the end, concerns over its cost resulted in a final version that was significantly smaller in scope than what was first conceived. Originally, the Zadroga bill called for a 10-year, $7.4 billion treatment and compensation package, but to get past Senate Republicans, it was reduced to 5 years at $4.3 billion.
"And so we've come to an agreement that costs less, doesn't allow double-dipping, doesn't allow exorbitant lawyer fees, and we've worked it out and so we're going to take care of the folks, but we're going to do it in a way that doesn't punish the people that are going to pay the bill,” Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), said after the Zadroga Act’s Senate passage.
The new version provides $1.8 billion over the next five years to monitor and treat injuries stemming from exposure to toxic dust and debris at Ground Zero. The Zadroga Act also sets aside $2.5 billion to reopen the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund for five years to provide payment for job and economic losses. Attorney’s fees will be capped at 10 percent. It also bars responders who accepted the recently approved World Trade Center Toxic Dust Settlement from “double-dipping.”
Parker Waichman Alonso LLP, which has spent the past several months working with Representatives Maloney and King, as well as Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, to ensure passage of the Zadroga Act, will continue its efforts to make sure these heroes receive all of the compensation they are entitled to under this law. If you or a loved one are among the World Trade Center responders who will benefit from the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, please visit http://www.yourlawyer.com, or call 1 800 LAW INFO (1-800-529-4636) for assistance with your claim.
About Parker Waichman Alonso LLP
Parker Waichman Alonso LLP is a leading personal injury law firm that represents plaintiffs nationwide. The firm has offices in New York, New Jersey and Florida. Parker Waichman Alonso LLP has assisted thousands of clients in receiving fair compensation for injuries resulting from defective drugs, medical devices, and other products.
For more information on Parker Waichman Alonso LLP, please visit: http://www.yourlawyer.com or call 1-800-LAW-INFO (1-800-529-4636).
Contact: Parker Waichman Alonso LLP
Matthew J. McCauley, Attorney