Passed by Congress and signed into law on January 2, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act provides compensation and health care to those injured during the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center. It also covers those who are suffering an illness as a result of exposure to the toxic dust and debris.
The Act is named for a former NYPD detective James Zadroga, who died of respiratory disease as a result of his work at the World Trade Center Site. Mr. Zadroga was represented by the New York City injury law firm of Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson.
In the days, months, and years following the World Trade Center tragedy, a massive clean-up and rebuilding effort was launched in Lower Manhattan. Thousands of individuals spent months at Ground Zero and in the surrounding buildings looking for remains and clearing debris, while breathing in the harmful dust and smoke which contained the toxic and chemical remnants of the World Trade Center Towers. Others, who lived or worked in the area, were similarly exposed.
These dedicated construction workers, police officers, firefighters, and asbestos cleaners, as well as the office workers and individuals who lived or went to school in Lower Manhattan, breathed the toxic air and have developed serious, chronic ailments. These injuries may include: asthma, COPD, interstitial lung disease, asbestosis, cancer, chronic sinusitis, chronic rhinitis, GERD, sleep apnea, depression and birth defects.
Recognizing the need to provide health care and compensation to these heroes and victims, the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act was proposed in the United States Congress, and signed into law by President Obama on January 2, 2011. The law also provides benefits and recovery for most individuals living or working in Lower Manhattan who also became ill.
The Zadroga Act will provide $4.2 billion more in financing for the Victim’s Compensation Fund. This Fund will compensate individuals for their injuries. Although the Fund was to be an alternative to filing a traditional law suit, as the legislation is currently written, individuals who have started a lawsuit in federal court or have recently settled the lawsuit, are eligible to participate in the fund.