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Dedicated New York Attorneys for Victims with Post 9/11 Illnesses
Putting the Zadroga Act to work to set things right for WTC attack victims and their families
More than a decade after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 shocked the world, many rescue and recovery personnel and Lower Manhattan workers and residents who were exposed to toxins from the World Trade Center site are still living a nightmare. Every day, Barasch & McGarry observes how cancer, respiratory disorders and other disabling and deadly diseases linked to the exposure continue to devastate families.
With our downtown office located near City Hall, just a few short blocks from the site, our lawyers and staff acutely felt the impact of the tragedy. We continue to do so with every post-9/11 victim we help.
Who we help
Prior to the attacks, our law firm routinely represented New York City firefighters injured in the line of duty and advocated for their rights. After 9/11, our practice naturally expanded to help all first responders affected by the attacks in the days and months afterward. With the passage of time, new classes of 9/11 victims have emerged, and we have become their advocates as well. Today, we represent people with 9/11 cancers and other illnesses from all walks of life, including:
We have been extensively involved in advocating for WTC victims' rights and regularly consult with the Special Master of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) and the Department of Justice, which administers the VCF.
Zadroga Act Benefits After the Extension and Reauthorization: Over $3 Billion Awarded to date
We are proud to have represented James Zadroga, an NYPD detective who developed pulmonary fibrosis, a severe respiratory illness, as a result of his exposure to dust and toxins at the World Trade Center site. His death eventually persuaded Congress to pass the “James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act” in late 2010. The law reopened the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, which provides benefits to people whose injuries and illnesses resulted from exposure to WTC dust and debris. The Act also provides ongoing health treatment for those sickened by the toxins.
Our law firm fought hard to convince Congress to extend and reauthorize the Zadroga Act. Thankfully, in December, 2015, Congress passed a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending package that included an extension of the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, allowing the 9/11 community to receive the health benefits and compensation that they deserve. President Obama signed the bill into law the day after Congress, with bipartisan support, voted in favor of its passage. The $8.1 billion extension came as the result of intense lobbying from survivors, victims’ advocates and New York lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. The new law extended the World Trade Center Health Program for 75 years, until 2090, at a cost of $3.5 billion, and renewed the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) until December 18, 2020 in the amount of $4.6 billion. This means that the total amount available in compensation is $7.3 billion. The extension is welcome news to thousands of anxious first responders and lower Manhattan local residents, as 9/11-related illnesses and cancers with long latency periods continue to manifest.
To date, more than 70,000 survivors have registered with the WTC Health Program, and the VCF has approved more than 14,000 applicants for compensation. More than $3 billion has been awarded to date.
Michael Barasch, the firm’s managing partner, praised Congress for the extension and reauthorization. "The reality is that the air was not safe and Congress has done the right thing by extending the health program for 70 years and the compensation fund until December 18, 2020. That means that anyone diagnosed with one of the respiratory illnesses or 68 cancers linked to the WTC toxic dust, even those who have already received awards, will still be able to make a new claim for compensation— as long as the claim is made within two years of a governmental entity certification (such as the WTC Health Program, Workers Compensation Fund or Social Security Administration). But there are still strict deadlines so please help spread the word to anyone who has been diagnosed and doesn’t realize that they may be entitled to benefits," said Barasch.
We invite you to learn more about the history of the James Zadroga Act, H.R. 847.
Driven by compassion and duty
No other law firm in the country has recovered more money from the Victim Compensation Fund through WTC settlement agreements on behalf of its injured clients than Barasch & McGarry.
But we view our mission as more than just getting you and your family the compensation you need. Each attorney at our firm is committed to helping you receive the health screenings and benefits you require. When you contact us to learn more about the illnesses covered by the Zadroga Act and the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, we also help you determine the medical benefits for which you qualify and where to seek treatment.
Deadlines and help with the application
There is still time to apply for significant compensation if you have been diagnosed with any of the 68 cancers or respiratory illnesses that doctors at the WTC Health Program (WTCHP) have linked to the WTC toxic dust. The deadline to apply to the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) has been extended from 2 years from the date of diagnosis to 2 years after a survivor is made aware their cancer or respiratory illness was linked by a governmental entity to his/her exposure to the WTC toxins. Wrongful death claims have a strict 2 years from death deadline.
Please help spread the word about the strict 2 year deadline to register a claim
While the Victim Compensation Fund has done a wonderful job of streamlining the application process, many people in the 9/11 community have tried to complete the VCF application on their own and felt overwhelmed. Or, they successfully submitted their application and received an award, but have no idea whether it is fair compared to others with similar illnesses and lost income.
It would be our pleasure to help you complete the process in order to ensure that you receive the compensation that you are entitled to. Please call us for a free consultation.
Barasch & McGarry helps set things right
At Barasch & McGarry, we provide hope. Please contact us online or call (646) 934-6401 to discuss your case with a lawyer who understands your situation and the law.
Trust us to help. You have nothing to risk and so much to gain. We offer free initial consultations and do not charge you anything until you receive a settlement from the Victim Compensation Fund. Our fees never exceed 10 percent of your settlement.
We assist injured clients from all over the country, including retired FDNY members and NYPD officers who have since moved away from New York. If you do not live near New York City or are unable to travel, we arrange your first, free consultation by telephone.