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Illness Catches Up with Downtown Workers Caught in 9/11 Cloud

The terrorist attacks on New York City in September 2001 caught the city, and the world, by surprise. More than a decade later, illnesses suffered by downtown workers continue to take a toll.

During the attacks on September 11, many groups of people, including responders, office workers, residents, students and teachers, suffered devastating injuries and illnesses.

Over 10,000 people in the 9/11 community have been diagnosed with one or more of the 68 cancers linked to the WTC toxic dust. For those living and working in New York City, lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn are considered part of the exposure zone. To be eligible for free health care from the WTC Health Program, patients must prove that they were working or living south of Houston Street in Manhattan or in Western Brooklyn.

To be eligible for Compensation from the Victim Compensation Fund, a claimant must provide evidence that he or she was exposed south of Canal Street in Manhattan, or at the Fresh Kills Landfill in Staten Island, or at the Morgue or along the debris transit route.

As of July 31, 2018, the Victim Compensation Fund has awarded over $4 Billion to 23,000 claimants.

For traders and financial personnel working on Wall Street during that time and after, exposure to the toxic cloud and debris changed lives.

Stockbroker Brian Cosmello was one financial district worker stunned to receive the news in 2009 that he suffered from a rare leukemia caused by exposure to radiation or chemicals. On September 11, Mr. Cosmello was one of the bystanders looking at the South Tower as it collapsed.

Mr. Cosmello recalled being engulfed in a cloud of dust and debris and taking shelter in a deli before wandering the locked-down city for 24 hours and finding a way out.

Like many others, Mr. Cosmello returned to his job about two blocks from the World Trade Center (WTC) site on September 17 when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared the area safe for downtown workers and residents to return. It was not safe.

The Multiple Myeloma suffered by Mr. Cosmello is an illness usually diagnosed in the elderly. He was 24 when exposed. Now 36, Mr. Cosmello has a young family and a lifetime of chemotherapy drugs ahead. Working and living in North Carolina, Mr. Cosmello continues to wait for a decision on his claim for lost earnings from the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF).

For Mr. Cosmello and so many others affected by 9/11, the nightmare does not end. Speak to an experienced 9/11 attorney from Barasch & McGarry when you have questions about claims for injury and loss in New York City.

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Compensation available to residents and office workers, teachers and students – not just responders and volunteers
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  • "Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson handled everything professionally and with patience. They always had time to answer all my questions and did what they promised. Thanks esp to Brian Calamaris Lee London, and Mariya Atanasova. Thank you." - William Collins, FDNY

  • "If I could give them six stars I would...don't even bother talking to anyone else concerning 9/11. The whole team worked night and day to deliver an outstanding settlement. They are honest, hard working and extremely professional. Just make the one phone call and let them do the rest." - Les Margulis, resident in the exposure zone

  • "I had a very good experience with Michael and Mariya. They made the process stress free. I would recommend this firm to anyone seeking assistance with 9/11 related illnesses." - JE Kirwan, worked in the exposure zone

  • "The people at this firm were just great. They were concern with making sure I was taken care of in every way possible. When I was given an award Mr. Barasch didn't think it was a fair amount and appealed the decision which got me a larger award. I am very satisfied with everything they did for me in the past and are willing to do for me and my family in the future." - Bob Wiecezak, FDNY-Retired

  • "Excellent law firm. Lee London and his staff were very responsive and always followed up with phone calls or emails. This firm is a strong example of what caring and personable lawyers are all about." - Letitia Egan, wife of client, volunteer in the exposure zone

  • 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.

    Register For Compensation

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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