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Renewed Call to Extend Zadroga Act After Three Firefighters Die From 9/11 Related Illnesses

Renewed Call to Extend Zadroga Act After Three Firefighters Die From 9/11 Related Illnesses

Attorney at Law David Perecman supports efforts to reauthorize the James L. Zadroga 9/11 Health & Compensation Act before it expires. This program would then be able continue providing health care and compensation to people with 9/11-related health problems. The Zadroga Act was passed by Congress in 2010 and President Barack Obama signed it into law in 2011.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Rep. Peter King, 9/11 first responders, community survivors and union leaders are all pushing to reauthorize the critically needed law.

On September 25, 2014, CNN News reported that three FDNY firefighters who retired in 2003 died within hours of each other from illnesses believed to be related to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Daniel Heglund, Robert Leaver and Howard Bischoff all died of cancer. All three men had rushed to the World Trade Center site on the day of the attacks.

Ninety-two firefighters have died from 9/11 related illnesses and 850 firefighters and ambulance workers now have 9/11 related cancer, NY1 reported (9.25.14). Hundreds more firefighters and ambulance workers suffer from respiratory problems

Advocates are seeking to reauthorize the Zadroga Act for first responders and terror attack survivors impacted by the 9/11-attacks. The Zadroga bill’s two critical programs are the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program and the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. These programs are set to expire in October 2015 and October 2016, respectively. If passed, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act will keep the WTC Health Program and the VCF open, according to a news release issued by Congressman Jerrold Nadler’s office on September 8, 2014.

Cancers thought to be directly related to the 9/11 rescue, recovery and clean-up efforts include leukemia, myeloma, thyroid and prostate cancers. At the end of July, there were at least 1,646 certified cancer cases that were documented by Mount Sinai Selikoff Centers for Occupational Health, reported CNN News. An additional 863 fire and EMS personnel were suffering from cancer as recorded in a FDNY database for its members.

According to the press release, over 30,000 WTC first responders and survivors are afflicted with a 9/11-related illness or injury. Of this number, two-thirds have more than one illness. Other chronic sicknesses besides cancer related to exposures at Ground Zero include, asthma, obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic rhinitis, sinusitis, and gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Individuals or their loved ones who are eligible for compensation under the Zadroga Act, and would like assistance can contact the experienced lawyers at The Perecman Firm.

The NY1 Story is “Renewed Call to Extend Zadroga Act in Wake of Firefighters’ Deaths.”

The CNN News story is “3 retired NYC firefighters die of 9/11-related illnesses on same day.”


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