More than 18 years after the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, the death toll continues to rise. Dangerous substances that filled the air around Ground Zero have triggered cancer and other fatal illnesses in first responders and in recovery workers who worked around the clock to clear the damage. Despite the fact that this trend shows no sign of slowing, federal funds available under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act will run out at the end of 2020 unless a new authorization is passed by Congress.
In the last four months of 2018 alone, 40 deaths were traced to exposure that uniformed and non-uniformed workers experienced around Ground Zero. In each of the previous two years, the number of annual fatalities exceeded 150. Whatever their specific roles might have entailed, workers should be aware of:
- Connection to cancer and respiratory diseases — At least 68 types of cancer have been linked to the dangerous substances found at the World Trade Center site. Asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other respiratory problems are also covered by the Zadroga Act when a 9/11 connection is shown.
- Compensation — Originally, the Victim Compensation Fund closed in 2004, but the post-9/11 illnesses suffered by thousands of people who were in the exposure zone led to reauthorization that covers people who were in the area through May 30, 2002.
- Medical monitoring — Many of the conditions associated with work at Ground Zero take many years, or even decades, to show symptoms. Many first responders are eligible for medical monitoring so that any potentially dangerous problem can be identified and treated as quickly as possible.
Sadly, in many cases, the harm that was done cannot be reversed, but a lawyer familiar with Zadroga Act claims can help you understand the eligibility requirements and the amount that might be available given the specific circumstances.
At Barasch & McGarry, we have led the way on securing compensation for victims of 9/11-related illnesses and their families, guiding them through the often complicated process of obtaining a measure of relief. We keep clients apprised of the related developments related to the Victim Compensation Fund and medical evidence that finds links between WTC first responders and various medical conditions. To schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable attorney dedicated to your well-being, please call 888-351-9421 or contact us online.