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James Zadroga Story

A Legacy Of Bravery And Service To Others

When Congress proposed a bill to extend medical and compensation benefits to those involved in rescue operations and cleanup following the 9/11 attacks, it did so with heroes like James Zadroga in mind. While the initial attacks and rescue operations took an awful toll on New York City’s police and firefighters, thousands of Ground Zero workers began to experience severe respiratory ailments in the months and years that followed. The attorneys of Barasch & McGarry have represented thousands of these victims of chronic ailments stemming from toxic exposure at Ground Zero and throughout Lower Manhattan. Our goal is to help these victims and their families gain some degree of financial security in the wake of their losses.

James Zadroga’s Story

In 2001, James Zadroga was a decorated New York City Police Detective who served more than 450 hours at Ground Zero during rescue and cleanup operations. Soon after, Detective Zadroga developed a chronic cough, breathing trouble, acid reflux, and frequent headaches. In 2002, James reported his injury to the NYPD, but his claim was denied.

He continued to report for duty, but within months was bedridden and reliant on an oxygen tank to breathe. Despite the continued deterioration of his health, doctors were unable to effectively diagnose or treat his condition. While he eventually did qualify for disability pension payments, the loss of income led to financial strains. In 2003, he was finally diagnosed with Black Lung Disease. He passed away in 2006 at the age of 34, leaving behind a 4-year-old daughter.

James Zadroga’s Legacy

Treatment came too late for Detective James Zadroga. When he became a client of Barasch & McGarry, we advocated on his behalf and on behalf of the thousands of others like him — dedicated public servants and others who fell through the cracks following the 9/11 attacks. His story, and the fierce advocacy of our law firm along with many in the 9/11 community eventually led to multiple laws and statutes that today bear his name:

  • The James L. Zadroga Health and Compensation Act of 2010, signed into law by president Obama reopened the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund and provided for medical treatment and compensation for the thousands who suffered the delayed consequences of chemical exposure at Ground Zero.
  • James Zadroga 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Reauthorization of 2015 which extended the VCF for an additional period of time, allowing more victims to register for compensation.
  • The Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, signed into law by President Trump in 2019 which permanently extended and fully funded the VCF through 2090, ensuring that all future 9/11 victims would be covered for their 9/11-linked medical conditions.

Financial Compensation for 9/11 Victims

Thanks in large part to the bravery of James Zadroga and the advocacy of our law firm, the laws that bear his name make hundreds of thousands of 9/11 victims eligible to receive financial compensation and medical benefits for their WTC-linked cancers and illnesses. Over the past two decades, the lawyers of Barasch & McGarry have helped over 20,000 members of the 9/11 community recover over $2 billion from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. We are proud to have represented Detective James Zadroga and our mission is to see his legacy honor as many 9/11 victims as possible. If you think you or someone you know may be eligible for a VCF claim, please contact us.

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 victims. Call us at 888-351-942 or contact us online today.

James Zadroga Story

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