This January marks the sixteenth anniversary of the death of NYPD Detective James Zadroga, a Barasch & McGarry client.
Zadroga was a 9/11 hero whose illness demonstrated the deadly health consequences of exposure to Ground Zero toxins and was a crucial part of the campaign to secure health care and compensation for tens of thousands of 9/11 first responders and survivors.
A native of North Arlington, New Jersey, he joined the NYPD in 1992, and quickly moved through the ranks, earning a detective’s badge.
Like thousands of other first responders, Detective Zadroga’s life changed forever on September 11, 2001. He was deployed to Ground Zero to join the search-and-rescue and recovery efforts, ultimately working at the site for hundreds of hours.
And, like other first responders, Detective Zadroga was told the air at Ground Zero was safe to breathe. Neither he nor his colleagues were provided with adequate equipment to protect their lungs and general health.
The air in Lower Manhattan was not safe. Instead, it was filled with airborne toxins including pulverized glass and concrete, jet fuel, asbestos, and other harmful chemicals.
Only a few weeks after leaving Ground Zero, the previously healthy Detective Zadroga began experiencing serious health problems.
A non-smoker in his early thirties, with no history of respiratory illness, Detective Zadroga developed a persistent cough. Soon he became short of breath, unable to walk more than 100 feet without gasping for air.
Detective Zadroga died at 34-years-of-age. An autopsy found severe scarring in his lungs, as well as toxic Ground Zero dust.
His death became a rally cry for the 9/11 community, resulting in the enactment of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act in 2010, which offered desperately-needed support for 9/11 victims and their families.
Detective James Zadroga’s heroism and commitment to the men and women who served at Ground Zero continues to inspire the entire 9/11 community. We will never forget his invaluable contributions.
Please contact us if you have any questions about the World Trade Center Health Program and the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. Visit 911victims.com or call 212-385-8000 today.