900 World Trade Center Workers Dead Since 2001

In the nine years since the horrific attack on New York City’s World Trade Center (WTC), some 900 more people have allegedly died as a result of the toxic dust cloud that encased lower Manhattan following the collapse of the Towers. Some 3,000 people died on September 11th, 2001, said Fox News, noting that, according to the NY State Health Department, the death toll continues to rise with <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/world_trade_center_emergency_workers">World Trace Center rescue and recovery workers dead over sicknesses developed due to their efforts at Ground Zero,

Based on the most recent Health Department figures—June 2009—836 workers died since the attacks, wrote Fox News. Health officials only confirm 813, citing the short study length and claiming conclusions as to cause of deaths could not be made, reported Fox News. Officials note that of the 836, over 20 percent were viewed as “traumatic,” involving “exposure to harmful substances or environments, car accidents, or assaults”; “80 percent were from illness,” said Fox News.

John Feal, founding president of the FealGood Foundation, an advocacy group for WTC rescue and recovery workers, calls the study defective and archaic saying it does not follow workers outside NY, wrote Fox News. The figure is closer to over 900, which is likely “conservative,” said Feal, wrote Fox.

“I still think the number is low,” he said, quoted Fox News. “I can guarantee over the last nine years, someone from small-town America has died from 9/11-related illnesses when that small-town doctor didn’t know what he was looking at… All the undocumented workers who went home, a lot of the Spanish workers, they went home and died.” According to Feal, those who die post-9/11 as a result of the attacks will soon surpass the number of those who died at the attacks, said Fox News. “The men and women who have died since, who were literally searching for their loved ones who were lost, have died or are dying because of neglect, poor leadership, and bad politics…. Our federal government, they put politics before human lives. That’s unacceptable,” said Feal, wrote Fox News.

We just wrote that the House is, again, looking into a bill to provide about $7.4 billion to sickened WTC rescue and recovery workers, said the Associated Press (AP); similar measures are pending in the Senate. If passed, the bill will provide the WTC workers sickened after their work at the site free health care and compensation, said the AP. The bill failed in July said the AP, over party line issues.

Many feel the workers are being slighted, with some seriously ill workers receiving significantly less in a settlement being called “unfair and illogical,” quoted the New York Post previously. Worse, secret negotiations are excluding some workers over a technicality under which some who would otherwise be qualified to take part in the ongoing settlement process being rejected based on an arbitrary date not announced until two months after it had expired.

The April 12 claimant eligibility cut-off date was announced on June 10, 2010, exempting rescue and recovery workers who filed cases from April 27 through June 10 as negotiations for the cut-off were ongoing without their knowledge, but with the involvement of some key groups such as the City of New York, the settlement steering committee, and a number of defendants. Although there was knowledge that those who worked at the WTC site were filing claims, neither they nor any involved parties on the plaintiff side were made aware that an arbitrary cut-off date was in the works.

Recently, the law firm of Parker Waichman Alonso LLP, which represents 12 excluded cases, filed a motion to have that deadline extended. “Parker Waichman Alonso’s number one goal is to ensure all injured World Trade Center rescue and recovery workers be given the option to be included in this settlement agreement,” Matthew McCauley, an attorney with the firm, said recently. “These victims should not be excluded based on an arbitrary date when they present with injuries directly attributable to their work at the World Trade Center.”

While no one fully understands the current and future implication in terms of numbers, many believe the numbers are much higher than those reported. There are many more living with sicknesses who have never been counted or who are being excluded because of an arbitrarily derived date.

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