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Barasch & McGarry Honors the Twelfth Anniversary of the Zadroga Act

January 31, 2023 | Michael Barasch

January marks the twelfth anniversary of the “James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010,” named in honor of hero NYPD Detective James Zadroga, a Barasch & McGarry client.

The act established the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program and reactivated the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF), providing free medical care and compensation to individuals and families impacted by the 9/11 toxic dust, including those who were involved in the clean-up and debris removal efforts.

Initially, government officials denied that exposure to airborne toxins at Ground Zero and the Pentagon could result in cancer or respiratory illness.

But 9/11 didn’t end on 9/11.

As medical evidence demonstrated that the toxins were scientifically linked to 69 types of 9/11-related cancers and many respiratory illnesses, the 9/11 community – including our own firm and many union leaders – lobbied representatives in Congress, with influential support from comedian and advocate Jon Stewart.

Ultimately, the Zadroga Act passed in the House of Representatives and the Senate with bipartisan supermajorities, a pattern that continued when the law was reauthorized and extended in 2015 and 2019.

In the twelve years since the Zadroga Act was signed, the VCF has awarded $10.88 billion to 9/11 first responders, survivors, and their families.

Barasch & McGarry has recovered more than $3 billion in awards for 9/11 victims, more than any other law firm in the country.

Please note that if you are diagnosed with a 9/11-related illness, your family medical history does not affect your eligibility for free health care or compensation. 

If you were there in Lower Manhattan, the government presumes your illness was the result of exposure to Ground Zero toxins.

If you are diagnosed with any 9/11-related cancer or respiratory illnesses, Barasch & McGarry can help you access resources through the free WTC Health Program and the 9/11 VCF.

Through the health program, 9/11 responders and survivors have access to free, comprehensive medical care for their 9/11-related illnesses. 

The victim fund offers tax-free awards for pain and suffering, lost earnings, and benefits for surviving spouses and family members.

If you were there, you have the right to register with the 9/11 VCF – even if currently healthy – and enroll in the WTC Health Program if you are diagnosed with a 9/11-related illness.

For the WTC Health Program, the exposure zone includes all of Manhattan below Houston Street and parts of Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO in Brooklyn.

For the 9/11 VCF, the exposure zone includes the area of Manhattan south of Canal Street and west of Clinton Street.

Barasch & McGarry, Lawyers for the 9/11 Community, represents more than 35,000 members of the 9/11 community.

If you were exposed to Ground Zero toxins, you should know your health status. Don’t let a delayed diagnosis become a death sentence.

Visit or call 212-385-8000 today.

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