The death on September 10 of a Yonkers policeman from 9/11-related cancer did not arouse sufficient support for Congress to renew the James L. Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, before it expired on September 30. But Lt. Roy McLaughlin’s life and untimely death should stand as a reminder of the urgent need to extend benefits in the years to come.
Lieutenant McLaughlin, a lifelong resident of Yonkers, was one of four siblings who followed in their father’s footsteps to serve in the Yonkers Police Department. He was a 9/11 first responder who rushed to Ground Zero on the day of the terrorist attacks and participated in rescue efforts. Five years ago, he was diagnosed with stage 3 brain cancer and underwent emergency surgery to remove a large tumor. He subsequently endured radiation and chemotherapy, but died on the eve of the 14th anniversary of the attacks. Lt. McLaughlin left behind his beloved wife, Christine, and four children. He was only 38 years old.
Roy McLaughlin epitomized the courage and dedication to service that characterized all first responders on 9/11, and his death must be counted as another casualty of those attacks. His death should underscore the need for Congress to renew the Zadroga Act. But unfortunately, our dysfunctional government only seems to be able to operate from crisis to crisis, and since funds remain to keep WTC programs operating through the next year, Congress kicked the can down the road. Our hope is that in the weeks and months ahead, concerned lawmakers will come together to support the responders who served so valiantly.
If you have questions about your eligibility for 9/11 compensation, contact New York’s leading personal law firm for Zadroga Act benefits. Call Barasch & McGarry at 888-351-9421 or contact our office online.