Parker Waichman LLP, which worked alongside Ground Zero first responders and their advocates to ensure passage of the Zadroga Act, applauds the Committee's work so far, and looks forward to the issuance of its final cancer recommendation.
New York, New York (PRWEB) March 23, 2012
The national law firm of Parker Waichman LLP applauds the recommendation of the World Trade Center Health Program Scientific/Technical Advisory Committee that more than 20 cancers be added to the list of illnesses eligible for compensation under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act's 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. Previously, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) had declined to include any cancers in the list of illnesses covered under the Zadroga Act, purportedly because of a lack of scientific evidence linking the disease to exposure to Ground Zero toxic dust. That decision left many cancer-stricken Ground Zero first responders who are too sick to worker and without health insurance without any recourse, according to Matthew McCauley, lead attorney in the WTC/Zadroga group at Parker Waichman LLP, and a former NYPD Officer and WTC First Responder.
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 9/11 terrorist 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. [gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-111publ347/pdf/PLAW-111publ347.pdf]
In the past year, evidence linking Ground Zero toxic dust exposure to various cancers has grown. Last year, a large study of New York City firefighters published in The Lancet found a 19% increase in cancer risk overall in those who responded to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Last month, during a hearing convened by the Committee, Dr. Philip Landrigan, a dean at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, testified that a yet-to-be published study conducted by his team revealed a 14 percent increase in cancer rates among rescue workers, including significant increases in prostate, thyroid and certain blood cancers. The study was the largest of its kind, involving 20,000 firefighters and police officers as well as sanitation workers, construction workers and others who assisted at Ground Zero after the terror attack. [thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2811%2960989-6/abstract; nydailynews.com/opinion/evidence-mounting-9-11-first-responders-cancer-working-ground-zero-article-1.1024717]
Yesterday, a draft committee report posted on the NIOSH website indicated that the Committee is now preparing to recommend that more than 20 cancers be added to the list of Zadroga Act covered illnesses. The Committee will discuss the draft report when it meets March 28 and April 2 before making its final recommendation. Parker Waichman LLP, which worked alongside Ground Zero first responders and their advocates to ensure passage of the Zadroga Act, applauds the Committee's work so far, and looks forward to the issuance of its final cancer recommendation.
"We are eternally optimistic that NIOSH will do the ‘right thing,’ by our 9/11 heroes. I look forward to the day the recommendation is finally in writing, and I have the privilege of calling our clients to tell them their cancer has been added to the list of covered illnesses under the Zadroga Act,” McCauley said. “But until then I am holding my breath and lighting candles."
Parker Waichman LLP vows to continue its efforts to make sure these heroes receive all of the Zadroga Act compensation they need and deserve. If you or a loved one are eligible for compensation under the Zadroga Act, and would like assistance with your claim, please the visit the firm's Zadroga Act claims page at http://www.yourlawyer.com.
For more information regarding Zadroga Act claims and Parker Waichman LLP, please visit: http://www.yourlawyer.com or call 1-800-LAW-INFO (1-800-529-4636).
Parker Waichman LLP
Herbert Waichman, Partner