The September 11th terrorist attacks shocked the world. First responders and thousands of individuals were exposed to harmful toxins when they returned to downtown Manhattan to work, to live, and to attend or teach at school. These people are still living a nightmare with respiratory disorders, cancers and other disabling conditions linked to this exposure.
Barasch & McGarry is proud to have represented James Zadroga, an NYPD detective who developed pulmonary fibrosis as a result of his exposure to the deadly 9/11 toxins. His death persuaded Congress to pass the “James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.” The act reopened the first 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) to provide benefits to those suffering with the harmful consequences of toxic exposure to the World Trade Center dust.
When it became clear that Congress had not sufficiently funded the VCF, Michael relentlessly lobbied Congress with labor union members, responders, downtown office workers and downtown residents.
In 2015, Congress reauthorized the Zadroga Act. This extended the WTC Health Program for 75 additional years, and the VCF was given an additional $4 billion. But the VCF was only extended until December 2020; that is, until recently.
From October 2018 through June 2019, Michael and several attorneys and staff from Barasch & McGarry joined dozens of first responders, FealGood Foundation volunteers, and comedian and 9/11 advocate Jon Stewart to advocate on behalf of the entire 9/11 community. They made dozens of trips to Washington D.C. to secure the permanent extension and full funding of the $10+ Billion VCF. He was there when the U.S Senate overwhelmingly passed the “Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeiffer, & Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Act,” which reauthorized and fully funded the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. Michael was invited by the White House to appear at the Rose Garden signing of the permanent extension and full funding of the law on July 30th, 2019.
The firm now represents 20,000 responders, downtown residents, office workers, students, and teachers who have been sickened by the 9/11 toxins. Barasch & McGarry has represented more 9/11 victims and recovered more money from the Victim Compensation Fund (over $2 billion) than any other law firm in the country. 9/11 didn’t end on 9/11. We are honored to represent the 9/11 community and feel blessed to be able to help so many people.