It happens again and again and experienced personal injury attorneys like David Perecman are angry at insurance companies for causing suffering workers to suffer even more.
New York, New York – June 15, 2009 – Daniel Arrigo, a flagman, who worked on the cleanup of the World Trade Center site won’t be vulnerable to unhealthy workers safety measures anymore as he is finally receiving his workers’ compensation benefits after a long and stressful battle with his insurance carrier. He put in his initial claim in January, 2008 and, unbelievably, the insurance company stalled for 18 months, even after two separate judges ordered his insurance carrier, Zurich, to pay him the $500 a week in compensation.
“You’d think that after 8 years insurance companies would stop fighting 9/11 workers over compensation beneftis and claims related to the World Trade Center tragedy. These workers are entitled to their benefits, and it’s shameful,” says David Perecman, a New York personal injury attorney.
It’s well documented that workers on the site we vulnerable to working safety and inhaled toxic dust, fumes and vapors. As reported by the New York Daily News, Mr. Arrigo worked on the World Trade Center site up to 70 hours a week over a four-month period. After working there, he suffered from numerous respiratory illnesses and had to stop working altogether in 2008, after “he could no longer tie his boots.” Doctors at Mount Sinai Medical Center’s World Trade Center Medical Monitoring clinic diagnosed Arrigo with severe lung disease caused by the toxins he inhaled on the job. He also has bronchitis and gastric reflux. He now takes 10 separate medications and sleeps with an oxygen machine.
Also according to The Daily News, the carrier fought back on Mr. Arrigo’s claim using its full arsenal of games and tricks for 10 months with the main line that it was not responsible for his compensation. When that failed, Zurich moved to cross-examine Mr. Arrigo’s doctors. This process took months and during that lengthy time, Mr. Arrigo’s family lost their house while trying to live off tiny Social Security disability payments and pension, Zurich finally started paying Mr. Arrigo his workers compensation benefits – a year and a half after the case was opened!
Unfortunately, this battle between an insurance carrier and a worker is more common than personal injury attorneys and their clients would hope. Insurance companies all over use similar tactics, which is why a personal injury attorney is often more a necessity than a luxury.
“Sadly, this is all too familiar to personal injury attorneys like me who handle these kinds of claims on a regular basis. You’d wish they’d grow a conscience and do the right thing. In the meantime, we’ll be out there fighting for the rights of our clients” says Perecman, who has a personal injury law practice in Manhattan.