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WTC Responders


  • According to scientific studies, nearly all WTC responders face a persistent drop in lung function caused by the air on 9/11.
  • There are 69 specific cancers and a host of respiratory and other illnesses and injuries that qualify responders for the Victim Compensation Fund.
  • Responders have been awarded over $4.2 billion in compensation from the VCF so far.
  • Barasch & McGarry has helped more 9/11 Responders receive compensation from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund than any other law firm.

First Responders & Rescue and Recovery Workers at Greatest Risk

As the events of September 11th, 2001 unfolded, first responders- firefighters, police, EMS personnel, and rescue and recovery workers, poured into Lower Manhattan to bravely save lives and help people trapped in the WTC disaster zone. As they worked, dust and acrid smoke containing jet fuel and pulverized glass, concrete, and fibers hung in the air creating an at times invisible fog of carcinogens. In the months that followed 9/11, responders and clean up workers in the NYC area continued to help while breathing in this toxic dust, unknowingly being exposed to many debilitating health effects that are now presenting themselves years later.

Likelihood of Respiratory Disease for WTC Responders

Scientific studies now show that nearly all of the workers exposed to the thick clouds of dust after the World Trade Center buildings collapsed have suffered a persistent drop in lung function. For many workers, the decline in lung function has limited their ability to work, exercise, and perform their usual daily activities.

In ordinary cases of smoke and particulate inhalation, lung function declines, but then slowly rebounds over a period of months and years as the lungs heal and recover. In the case of the World Trade Center dust cloud, emergency, rescue and recovery workers suffered a decline in lung function that has persisted for much longer. Now, doctors at the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) have linked over 13 aerodigestive disorders to the 9/11 toxic dust including: asthma, chronic cough, rhinosinusitis, GERD, and COPD among others.

I want to personally thank the firm for their hard work at both the forefront, and in the offices of the VCF in Washington. Without the firm’s non-stop commitment to the VCF, I wonder where many of us first responders would be today.

9/11 Responder

9/11 Responders At Risk For 69 Cancers

The mix of toxins present in the smoke and dust at the World Trade Center has long been cause for concern among epidemiologists tracking post-WTC health effects. Because cancer takes longer to develop than many other WTC-related illnesses, studies were slow to link certain types of cancer conclusively with exposure to dust and smoke at Ground Zero. But eventually, studies of firefighters exposed to toxic dust and smoke at the WTC site indicated about a 20 percent higher rate of cancer than firefighters without such exposure.

The FealGood Foundation, a nonprofit advocacy group whose mission is to aid all emergency personnel who may have suffered any form of injury as a result of the attacks, had long advocated for the inclusion of cancer among those injuries and illnesses eligible for government 9/11 compensation and medical care. The Foundation keeps an unfortunately growing list of WTC responders who have contracted cancer since the attacks.

After significant pressure from advocacy groups and the media, including our firm, the federal government included various types of cancer on the list of illnesses qualifying for Zadroga Act medical care and Victim Compensation Fund benefits. The list now contains 69 different cancers including: lung, skin, breast, blood, colon, and prostate cancer.

Actual Client VCF Awards

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$3,700,651for a disabled NYC police officer due to leukemia

$3,254,242for wrongful death of a firefighter due to 9/11-related asthma/RADS

$2,811,150for a disabled stock broker due to multiple myeloma

$1,934,316for a disabled teacher due to esophageal cancer

$1,422,694for wrongful death of a downtown office worker due to pulmonary fibrosis

$1,251,411for wrongful death of a paralegal working in a downtown law firm due to breast cancer

$1,345,427for a NYC Police Officer with breast cancer

$1,188,741for a disabled EMT with colon cancer

$1,011,957for the wrongful death of a sound engineer due to bladder cancer

Fighting For 9/11 Rescue, Recovery, and Clean-up Workers

As a 9/11 first responder, you answered the call to help our country and our city at its darkest hour. Now, it’s your turn to receive help when you and your family need it most. Rest assured that you are not taking anything from other deserving responders. The Fund is fully funded and permanently extended so all 9/11 victims can access the benefits they are owed. The seasoned attorneys at Barasch & McGarry are dedicated advocates for all WTC first responders — EMS crews, firefighters, police, utility workers, clean-up workers — suffering adverse health effects as a result of their extraordinary efforts in the days and months following the attacks. If you worked on the WTC site or with WTC debris, we want to help you take advantage of every health benefit available to you and we will help you and your family obtain as much compensation as possible from the Victim Compensation Fund.

Contact Us

It’s important to act quickly. Find out if you’re eligible to receive compensation from the $10 billion set aside for 9/11 responders and victims. Call 212-385-8000 or contact us online today.

WTC Responders

Additional Topics

  • 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF)

    Learn about the 9/11 VCF; permanently funded with over $10 billion to compensate anyone with 9/11-linked illnesses and 69 different cancers.

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  • World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP)

    Find out about the WTCHP which provides free medical monitoring, testing, treatment, and prescription drugs for a range of 9/11-linked conditions.

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  • 9/11 VCF Results & Awards

    Barasch & McGarry has recovered more money from the Victim's Compensation Fund than any other law firm. See example awards & results.

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  • Why Barasch & McGarry

    With over 20,000 clients under representation and $3 Billion+ recovered from the Victim Compensation Fund, find out why Barasch & McGarry are truly "Lawyers for the 9/11 Community".

    Read More

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