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FDNY Mourns Tenth Firefighter Lost to 9/11 Cancer in 2017

On April 8, more than 50 firefighters stood outside Ladder 43’s firehouse in Spanish Harlem to salute a passing hearse, carrying the remains of retired firefighter James Lanza, who succumbed to brain cancer stemming from his service at Ground Zero. Jimmy Lanza, 71, of Woodside, Queens, was the tenth FDNY veteran to die from a 9/11-related cancer this year.

According to the New York Daily News, “Lanza was part of the team that ran into the World Trade Center’s destroyed north tower after two hijacked jumbo jets slammed into the twin towers.” The team managed to pull 16 survivors out of the “miracle stairwell” to safety. Lanza also served in the recovery efforts, which he described in an interview with the Steele County Times: “When we found a body part or a body, we would put it on the stretcher, cover it with the American flag and march it out with honor to a temporary morgue that the city had set up.…The rewarding part of that…it may sound crazy to somebody else… was that we knew we were giving closure to a family member or a parent or a daughter.”

Lanza retired from the FDNY in 2007, but seemed to have found a second career helping firefighters and their families cope with post-9/11 health issues. He helped sick and terminally ill firefighters with the FDNY Fire Family Transport Foundation. But Lanza himself was diagnosed with metastatic brain cancer in November 2016. Two more members of the FDNY community also died in April: retired EMS Lt. Mario Bastidas passed on April 1, and retired Firefighter Roy Smith died the day after Lanza.

With the passage of time, cancers and other diseases with longer latency periods have become more prominent among 9/11 responders and survivors. Although the World Trade Center Health Program has added numerous cancers to its lists of 9/11-related conditions, it’s possible that many cancer patients are not making that connection. That means many eligible 9/11 survivors are not getting the health screenings, treatment and benefits they deserve.

At Barasch & McGarry, we want to see every 9/11 responder and survivor adequately compensated and cared for. If you are suffering from an acute or chronic illness that might be 9/11-related, we urge you to contact our experienced Zadroga Act benefits attorneys. We have represented 9/11 survivors from the outset. Call us at 888-351-9421 or contact our office online.

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  • Deadline Extended to Register for Compensation


    There is still time to apply for significant compensation if you have been diagnosed with any of the 68 cancers 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) is two years from the date that a cancer has been certified by the WTC Health Program — or any other governmental agency. The two-year period to register doesn’t start on the day of a cancer diagnosis. Rather, it starts only when a cancer survivor is made aware their cancer was linked to exposure to the WTC toxins.

    For those who died from their WTC-linked cancers, the two-year period for their family to register starts on the day of the death of the WTC victim.

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Please help spread the word about the strict two-year deadline to register a claim

Many people have tried to complete the VCF application on their own, only to learn that it requires answers to hundreds of questions and many documents to download. 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.

Let a knowledgeable attorney help you figure it out

A cancer diagnosis can be terrifying. You undoubtedly have questions about your disease and how you will pay for treatment. Lawyers at Barasch & McGarry ensure you understand the complex requirements and help devise the best strategies for obtaining compensation and appropriate medical care under the Zadroga Act. Contact our law firm online or call 888-351-9421. The initial consultation is free, so it costs you nothing to find out whether a lawyer can help.
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