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Thread: A Fallen Hero - Video Inside

  1. #561
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Outraged First Responders Announce Thursday Press Conference

    NEW YORK , March 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Members of the City's Uniformed Services outraged by the City of New York's attempt to dismiss their claims for injuries suffered at the World Trade Center site following 9/11 have scheduled a press conference to be held on the steps of City Hall in lower Manhattan on Thursday, March 19, at noon. Famed Civil Rights attorney and public advocate Norman Siegel will speak, along with Jack McDonald, who is the President of the Uniformed Fire Fighters Association and other notable police officers and firefighters. Also appearing will be Marc Jay Bern, one of the Plaintiffs' Liaison Counsel for the pending actions in the Federal Court.

    The Bloomberg administration is attempting to have a United States Federal judge dismiss all claims of illness and injury sustained by uniformed services personnel as a result of their exposure to toxic materials during the rescue and recovery efforts after the World Trade Center terrorist attacks. The City's filing is directed specifically against the claims of New York's first responders, i.e., police officers (NYPD and Port Authority Police), firefighters and emergency medical technicians employed by the FDNY, on claims that the basic workplace protections mandated by New York's Labor Laws and extended to NYPD and FDNY members by the General Municipal Law do not extend to the uniformed services personnel who were stationed at the World Trade Center site for rescue, recovery and debris removal operations following the 9/11 attacks. Simply put, the City contends that the statutes requiring that those performing debris removal be provided with personal protective equipment, including respirators, simply do not apply to FDNY and NYPD members who worked at the World Trade Center Site.

    The bid for dismissal comes shortly after the Court hearing the cases began a new effort to resolve them. Less than one week earlier, the Honorable Alvin K. Hellerstein, the judge presiding over more than 10,000 World Trade Center cases, announced an aggressive plan for the trials of the most critically injured first responders, paving the way toward a global settlement. In his decision, Judge Hellerstein wrote that "a basis for settlement or valuation by trial should prompt resolution of all such severe cases." A March 2, 2009 editorial in the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS praised Hellerstein's new program as "a magnificent exercise in case management and a powerful mechanism for forcing settlements" after over seven years of court battles.

    The City's latest effort to deprive injured police and firefighters of compensation also comes less than a year after a federal appeals court denied its earlier motion to dismiss all of the World Trade Center responders' claims. Judge Hellerstein, who first denied that motion, admonished the defendants not to engage "in endless stratagems of motions and delays," warning that "the availability of a billion dollar fund authorized by Congress should not serve as an encouragement to lengthen and complicate these proceedings."

    In February 2003, Congress appropriated $1 billion to the City to insure injury claims arising from debris removal. In announcing the passage of the legislation, Mayor Bloomberg explained, "This legislation is necessary for the City to expedite the payment of claims relating to this effort." To date, not one of the approximately 10,000 World Trade Center respiratory claims has settled; however, City attorneys Patton Boggs have been paid in excess of $100 million in legal fees, taken from the $1 billion dollar federal fund.

    The First Responders find these arguments a callous and morally reprehensible attempt to deprive them of basic workplace protections and worse, to question the validity of their debilitating and - in some cases - life threatening illnesses. The motions seek to deprive them of their right to the same workplace protections afforded not only to persons employed on construction and demolition sites, but also to any person "lawfully frequenting" such worksites under, among other things, section 200 of the State Labor Law and the General Municipal Law provisions that extend the right to seek redress for injuries to the uniformed services.

    In the days and weeks after 9/11, FDNY firefighters, NYPD and Port Authority police officers and emergency medical technicians responded valiantly and without regard for their own personal safety to rescue and recover as many of their fellow citizens and brother firefighters and police officers as they could find. Seven and a half years later, that very dangerous work in an environment fraught with toxic gases and particulate matter has rendered thousands of those first responders desperately ill and in many cases unable to work.

    For more information contact:
    Marc Jay Bern, Esq.
    Worby Groner Edelman & Napoli Bern, LLP
    350 Fifth Avenue, Suite 7413
    New York, New York 10118
    Phone: (646) 381-7040

    This release was issued through WebWire(R). For more information visit
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  2. #562
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    Jan 2005


    March 29, 2009 -- Christine LaSala, who announced she was quitting last year as head of the city's $1 billion fund for World Trade Center claims, quietly stayed at the helm -- but with a cut to her $350,000 pay, The Post has learned.

    LaSala, president and CEO of WTC Captive Insurance Co., withdrew her resignation several months later after "voluntarily" slashing her salary to $234,500 in 2007, a spokeswoman said.

    "She's like a vampire," a stunned congressional staffer said.

    LaSala, 58, who also gets health coverage for herself and a daughter, according to her spokeswoman, remained "with the support" of the WTC Captive's board of directors, composed of city officials and others appointed by Mayor Bloomberg.

    Under LaSala's leadership, the insurance fund has spent more than $191 million on lawyers and overhead since 2004 to fight 9,000 claims by 9/11 responders seeking compensation for illnesses blamed on toxic exposure. It has paid $320,000 to five workers for orthopedic injuries.

    "I guess it's to be expected that an insurance company that never pays insurance claims would have a CEO who resigns but never leaves," Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan) told The Post.

    Maloney said she wants to ask LaSala -- who's set to testify before Congress for the first time Tuesday -- how the fund "can give its executives exorbitant salaries and gold-plated health insurance while the sick workers they're fighting have neither."

    LaSala's pay cut took effect in January 2007, two months after The Post revealed her $350,000 salary. That far exceeded the salary of the city's highest-paid employee, Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, who makes $250,000.

    WTC Captive manages $1 billion that Congress gave the city to pay claims from the Ground Zero cleanup. The fund dipped to $941 million as of Dec. 31.

    Until recently, interest on bond investments covered the expenses. The fund lost $14 million on investments in the last half of 2008, but still came out ahead $700,000 for the year, records show.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  3. #563
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    Jan 2005
    9/11 dust victim's sister Leona Hull to pitch for health bill

    BY Joe Kemp
    Monday, March 30th 2009, 4:00 AM

    It's been two months since the city medical examiner ruled Leon Heyward died as a result of toxins he breathed in at Ground Zero.

    Now Leona Hull, Heyward's sister, hopes his story will help others who are sick as a result of 9/11.

    After reading about Heyward in the Daily News, Rep. Carolyn Maloney asked Hull to go to Washington for tomorrow's committee hearing on the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.

    The bill, if passed, will offer medical help and compensation for everyone affected by the attacks on the World Trade Center.

    "It's not just about my brother anymore," Hull said. "I'm hoping this can open up doors for other people whose loved ones are sick due to Sept. 11."

    Heyward, a father of two, was across the street when the towers went down on 9/11.

    He had just clocked in for his shift as an inspector for the Consumer Affairs Department. After he saw the second plane hit, Heyward was told by his supervisor to stay where he was. When the buildings collapsed, he was covered in dust.

    He went on to help evacuate handicapped co-workers from his nearby office.

    "The final years of Leon's life were one long struggle toget proper care - and just to get by. It was a blessingthat Leon had help from his sister, but he should havehad much more help from his government," said Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens).

    After years of suffering seizures and delusions, Heyward, 45, died in October. In January, the city medical examiner blamed his death on the 9/11 dust.

    "I'm praying in my heart that they will pass this," Hull said. "It's the right thing to do."
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  4. #564
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    Jan 2005
    Pols: 9/11 workers likely to get health help,4011563.story

    (Gold9472: I could cry)

    3:57 PM EDT, March 31, 2009

    WASHINGTON -- Sponsors of a bill to compensate and cover health care costs of ailing 9/11 responders and recovery workers predicted Tuesday the House would pass the long-pending legislation this year.

    New York Democratic Reps. Jerrold Nadler and Carolyn Maloney, of Manhattan, key sponsors of the measure, said the bill's ultimate fate lies in the Senate, where Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has promised to introduce a companion bill.

    "We have a really good chance of passing this," Nadler said.

    Added Maloney, "We're going to get it done. We're going to pass this bill."

    Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) said some Republicans would join Democrats in voting for the bill. Nadler said if Congress passes a bill President Barack Obama has said he would sign it.

    Nadler and Maloney made their predictions to two busloads of retired police, firefighters and other workers harmed by their work on the pile or nearby who had come down for a hearing on the bill. They are among the thousands of 9/11 responders whose ailments did not become apparent until after the 911 Victims Compensation Fund closed in 2003.

    Nadler and Maloney have proposed a $11-billion fund to both cover health costs and provide compensation. The bill also would limit the liability of the city and the contractors and subcontractors that took part in the recovery and clean up at Ground Zero.

    Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) and Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington) also expressed optimism and support for the bill after the hearing and in the pep talk to the 9/11 workers.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  5. #565
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    Jan 2005
    It's too late: GOP tells 9/11's sick that it's been too long since the attack for compensation

    BY Michael Mcauliff
    Updated Tuesday, March 31st 2009, 4:00 PM

    WASHINGTON -- Two busloads of Sept. 11 workers made what's become an annual pilgrimage to Washington Tuesday, pleading for Congress to help the thousands of rescuers and responders left to battle 9/11-induced illness on their own.

    About 80 former rescue workers and family appealed at a hearing for lawmakers to reopen the Sept. 11 Victims' Compensation Fund to aide some 11,000 people who have gotten ill since the fund closed in 2005 from their work at Ground Zero, and have since sued the city and contractors.

    They got skepticism from some GOP lawmakers, but won support from the former boss of the expired compensation fund, Ken Feinberg, who said the massive effort should be restarted to end the expensive, time-consuming litigation.

    "The only reason they're litigating is because the 9/11 fund compensated their brethren, but could not compensate them before it expired," said Feinberg. "They would have met all the criteria and they would have been compensated."

    Legislation sponsored by Manhattan Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Jerrold Nadler, who chaired the Judiciary subcommittee hearing, would reopen the fund for 22 years, allowing people with slower developing ailments like cancer to be compensated for sacrificing themselves on Sept. 11, 2001.

    Some Republicans objected that the time frame was too long, and suggested it would be subject to abuse. They also feared creating a semi-permanent fund for victims of the terror attacks would open a precedent that would require similar funds.

    The Rev. Bill Minson, a Santa Monica, Calif., preacher who ministered to 9/11 heroes, said setting a precedent for the government to help in major disasters - manmade or natural - was fine.

    "The federal government has to be at least prepared to respond when massive numbers of people are suffering," said Minson, who started volunteering at Ground Zero on Sept. 13.

    "The Republicans need to think about what they (the workers) have done," Minson said.

    "These guys are sick and there's not debating it," said Anne Marie Bauman, 44, whose former NYPD officer husband, Christopher, couldn't make the trip today because of the heart ailments he's suffered since 9/11.

    A number of witnesses at the hearing, including contracters and city lawyer Michael Cardozo, said reponing the fund would be the quickest, and probably the cheapest, route to ending lawsuits and easing suffering. Cardozo said the problem with suits is that it pits one set of heroes -- the city and contractors who also sacrificed on 9/11 -- against another.

    Bauman said the issue is simple, though.

    "There's no one else to help people who deserve it, without the government," said Bauman.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  6. #566
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    Jan 2005
    Justice may come for 9/11 victims

    by Christina Lovato, University of New Mexico-Talk Radio News Service
    Posted by Staff on March 31, 2009

    “In a September 2006 peer-reviewed study conducted by the World Trade Center Medical Monitoring Program, of 9,550 World Trade Center responders, almost 70 percent had a new or worsened respiratory symptom that developed during or after their time working at Ground Zero. Furthermore, another study documented that, on average, a New York City firefighter who responded to the World Trade Center has experienced a loss of 12 years of lung capacity…. The pain and suffering of the living victims of 9/11 is real and cannot be ignored. We, as a nation, must do more,” stated Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY).

    Today at a joint subcommittee hearing under the House Judiciary Committee, witnesses testified and spoke in support of H.R. 847, the “James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2009.” Under the Act, responders, area residents, workers, and students who were exposed to the catastrophe of the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers on 9/11 would be provided comprehensive medical treatment. It would also reopen the Victim Compensation Fund so that people can be compensated for their economic losses.

    Barbara Burnette who is a former New York City Police Detective retired from the force after 18.5 years of service due to injuries she developed while working for 23 days in total at the World Trade Center site. Burnette was not provided with any respirator or other protection for her lungs and throat and now has been diagnosed with interstitial lung disease, more specifically, hypersensitivity pneumonitis with fibrosis in her lungs. During the time the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001 was in mode, Burnette was not sick and the fund was closed to all applicants in December 2003. “Along with thousands of other rescue, recovery and construction workers, I have filed an individual lawsuit in the Southern District of New York, seeking redress for my respiratory injuries…. My case is now in its fourth year. It has been a long road, and I can’t tell you that I can see an end,” she said.

    Over 2,000 rescue workers were compensated with funds from the Victim Compensation Fund of 2001 at a cost to the taxpayer of about $1 billion of the $7 billion spent, stated Kenneth R. Feinberg, the former Special Master of the Federal September 11th Compensation Fund of 2001. “I had enough problems determining eligibility and compensating 5,300 people back in 2001. Whether or not a fund like this should be reopened and the eligibility criteria expanded to include additional types of injury, that is up to the Congress to decide…. It is really an interesting dilemma for the Congress to consider whether it is appropriate to deal with this unfairness of not compensating some of these rescue workers,” expressed Feinberg.

    James Melius, an MD and Administrator for the New York State Laborers’ Health and Safety Trust Fund said that the New York State Workers’ Compensation system is difficult to navigate through and is even worse for World Trade Center related illnesses. “The difficulties there are that these are complicated conditions. Our knowledge of them is evolving over time. We don’t know the prognosis for people. It’s more difficult to provide a proper assessment,” concluded Melius. According to information given by Melius, in New York City, uniformed services workers are, for the most part, not covered under the N.Y.S. Workers’ Compensation system but rather have a line of duty disability retirement system managed by New York City. So if a fire fighter, police officer, or other uniformed worker can no longer perform their duties because of an injury or illness incurred on the job, they can apply for disability retirement which allows them to leave with significant retirement benefits, but if a work-related illness becomes apparent after retirement, no additional benefits, including medical care, are provided.

    “In the nearly eight years after 9/11, we have done enough talking. Now it is time to pass H.R. 847, the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act,” concluded Nadler.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  7. #567
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    Jan 2005
    Maloney Statement on Today's 9/11 Health and Compensation Hearing

    For Immediate Release: March 31, 2009
    Contact: Joe Soldevere, (646) 831-1649

    WASHINGTON-- Rep. Carolyn Maloney offered the following statement about today's hearing before the Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security and International Law Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee on H.R. 847, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2009. This legislation would address the health crisis caused by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 by providing medical monitoring and treatment for those exposed to toxins released by the collapse of the World Trade Center towers, and providing compensation for economic losses due to illnesses or injuries caused by the attacks.

    Today’s hearing focused on the history of the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) established by Congress to provide compensation to survivors of persons killed, or to those who were injured, in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. The hearing also looked at the current problems arising from injuries sustained by first responders, construction workers, local residents, and other individuals who sustained injuries that did not become manifest until after the deadline for seeking compensation from the VCF.

    “Thousands lost their lives on 9/11, but thousands more lost their health --and with it their ability to provide for themselves and their families. The 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which Congressmen Nadler, King, McMahon and I introduced with the support of the entire New York Congressional delegation, would reopen the federal Victim Compensation Fund to help those who lost their livelihoods as a result of the 9/11 attacks.

    “Reopening the VCF would give thousands of 9/11 responders, lower Manhattan residents, and others a way to recoup their economic losses without having to resort to litigation.

    “As it stands now, more than 10,000 people are suing the City of New York and its contractors for damages stemming from the 9/11 attacks. There is a better way. The original VCF, set up in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, allowed family members to get economic relief quickly, without the drawn-out, painful process that so often accompanies litigation.

    “Passing our bill would give those who did not get VCF awards the first time around the compensation they need --and hopefully some closure to the trauma they’re still experiencing seven years after the towers fell.

    “We have a moral obligation to care for those who were harmed by the terrorist attacks on our country. This is truly the least we can do as a grateful nation.

    “I'm grateful to Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren and my Manhattan colleague and neighbor Jerrold Nadler for co-chairing today's hearing, and I'm extremely optimistic that with the support of Chairman Conyers and Speaker Pelosi, the House will at last have the opportunity to pass our bill and resolve these last remaining gaps in our response to the 9/11 attacks.”

    Facts on 9/11 Health Issues and H.R. 847:

    --Thousands of first responders and others exposed to the toxins of Ground Zero are now sick and need our help. These include New York firefighters, EMTs and police, construction workers, clean-up workers, residents, area workers, and schoolchildren, among others.

    --Although most of these people live in the New York/New Jersey area, at least 10,000 people came from around the country to help in the aftermath of the attacks. They hail from all 50 states and nearly every congressional district. Many are sick and others are very concerned about their health. (Please click here for a map of Registry enrollments nationwide and in each congressional district.)

    --Illnesses include respiratory and gastrointestinal system conditions such as asthma, interstitial lung disease, chronic cough and gastroesophageal reflux disease, and mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

    --More than 400,000 people are believed to have been exposed to toxins from the World Trade Center site.

    --Nearly 16,000 responders and at least 2,700 community members are currently sick and receiving treatment. More than 40,000 responders are currently in medical monitoring. 71,000 individuals are enrolled in the WTC Health Registry.

    --Those who suffered economic losses as a result of their WTC-related illnesses need and deserve compensation, but have no alternative to the current litigation system.

    --The WTC contractors and the City of New York are being sued by over 10,000 people who are sick because of Ground Zero toxins. They face great financial losses because they were asked to help at Ground Zero in the country’s time of need.

    H.R. 847 Would Address the 9/11 Health Crisis by:

    --Providing medical monitoring and treatment to WTC responders and community members (area workers, residents, students and others) who were exposed to toxins released at Ground Zero.

    --Building on the existing monitoring and treatment program by delivering expert medical treatment for these unique exposures at Centers of Excellence.

    --Providing for research into WTC-related health conditions.

    --Reopening the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund to provide compensation for economic losses and harm as an alternative to the current litigation system.

    --Providing liability protections for the WTC contractors and the City of New York.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  8. #568
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    Jan 2005
    New hope for 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund,7065318.story

    10:23 PM EDT, March 31, 2009

    WASHINGTON - Sponsors of a bill to reopen the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund for thousands of ailing Ground Zero first responders and workers predicted Tuesday that the House would pass the long-sought legislation this year.

    But it was unclear Tuesday how the bill would fare in the Senate, where aides say there may be resistance to its $11-billion price tag and its promise of compensation that the Congressional Budget Office estimated to be an average of $350,000 each for 18,000 workers and residents near Ground Zero.

    Democratic Reps. Jerrold Nadler and Carolyn Maloney of Manhattan expressed optimism about House passage as they spoke to two busloads of former police officers, firefighters and workers who came down from Long Island and New York City for yesterday's House hearing on the bill.

    "We have a really good chance of passing this for the first time," said Nadler.

    Nadler said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) supports the bill. Another supporter, Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford), said some Republicans would vote for it.

    King said the House could pass it as soon as May or June. But Maloney said in a statement later she hoped for passage "by the eighth anniversary of the attacks" on Sept. 11, 2009.

    Noting that President Barack Obama said he supported the bill when running for president last year, Nadler and Maloney said the bill's fate would then lie in the Senate.

    They said Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has said he would introduce a companion bill as its original backer, Hillary Rodham Clinton, has left the Senate.

    Schumer, who came in for some barbed comments at the hearing for not pushing the bill, issued a statement saying he'll ask Clinton's replacement, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, to share responsibility for the bill.

    "We're very concerned about the health of the 9/11 workers, and we're working with Senator Gillibrand on the best way to help them," it said.

    Thousands of workers connected to Ground Zero became ill after the Victims' Compensation Fund for 9/11 workers stopped taking claims in 2003 and they now seek compensation and health care costs.

    About 11,000 of them are suing the city and contractors, witnesses said. A $1-billion fund Congress set up has spent $350,000 on claims - and $200 million to challenge the claims.

    The bill, which would reopen the fund and limit contractors' liability, would send an important signal so that workers and contractors will not be reluctant to respond to any future attacks or disasters, backers of the legislation said.

    The bill also represents the best hope for those who are ailing and for the city, both of which are tied up in lengthy litigation, said New York City Corporation Counsel Michael Cordozo. There will be no winners in the litigation, he said.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  9. #569
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    Jan 2005
    A Tribute To John Feal

    Yesterday, John Feal, along with several other 9/11 First Responders went down to Washington D.C. to attend the hearing on the James Zadroga 9/11 Health And Compensation Act. From what I understand, he was singled out by the Congressmen, and applauded for his efforts. I want to say congratulations John. Just to give people an idea of how much you've fought for the responders, here's a little tribute to you (that barely covers your fight). Thank you for doing the right thing. I am very proud to say that you are my friend.

    __________________________________________________ ___________

    The EPA is a “bunch of brainiacs and bookworms who just look at numbers but don’t look at people’s pain,” said John Feal, a construction worker who lost half a foot in an accident while working in “the pit” at Ground Zero. “The people [downtown] and in Brooklyn pay taxes and deserve to know their tax money is going to protect their health.”

    John Feal - [NYMetro, 12/13/2005]

    John Feal, Valenti's friend and the founder of the Feal Good Foundation, an advocacy group for 9/11 first responders suffering from ground zero-related illnesses, called the workers' compensation ruling encouraging, but added that more must be done to help those who have gotten sick. "Individually, that's great," said Feal, a demolition supervisor who lost part of his foot when it was crushed by an eight-ton beam during the recovery effort at ground zero. "What stinks is that so many others in his position that have 9/11 illnesses still have problems getting [their compensation], or may never get theirs. Vito won a battle, but it's still a long war."

    John Feal - [, 2/8/2007]

    Feal said after he felt sorry for himself for about a year; then, after he realized other responders were worse off, he decided to create the FealGood Foundation. "People are suffering and dying and there is nothing I can do to save Joe Picurro and Father Stephen, but I can help ease the pain," he said.

    Feal believes the recent $25 million pledge by President Bush to help rescue workers who have been sickened from the site is "political bread crumbs."

    "They shouldn't have to suffer because the federal government remains idle," he said, adding, "And the lack of compassion that has trickled down from our leaders has become a snowball in society where 9/11 responders are being forgotten."

    John Feal - [, 2/11/2007]

    Feal's foot was crushed from falling metal.

    "I ended up getting wedged in and buried beneath the ground," Feal said.

    John Feal - [, 2/16/2007]

    A letter between myself and Susan Edelman from the NYPost on 2/19/2007.

    "Dear Jon,

    Thanks so much for your kind note. I care very much about the WTC workers and hope that those sickened by their contribution get the care and financial help they desperately need.

    John Feal has been a great ally.

    Keep in touch.


    "We're not the little boys crying wolf anymore. It's a 'told you so.' This whole time we weren't just running around saying we're sick. We now have legitimate proof," said Long Island resident John Feal. "But the fact that it took five years is insulting. The federal government's lack of compassion in helping heroes is insulting."

    Feal, who heads the not-for-profit Feal Good Foundation to call attention to the issue, is hoping this development helps the thousands of ongoing cases brought by rescue and construction workers against the city.

    John Feal - [, 5/24/2007]

    "I applaud the medical examiner for making this direct link, but its six years late and we need more doctors to come forward and say these brave souls are sick because of the aftermath of 9-11," responder John Feal said.

    John Feal - [, 5/28/2007]

    John Feal on DemocracyNow 6/21/2007

    Feal, 40, of Nesconset, briefly watched Whitman's testimony before becoming agitated by her "excuses." "There's not a word that comes out of her mouth that I believe," Feal said.

    Feal was a demolition supervisor at Ground Zero from Sept. 12 to Sept. 17, 2001, when a steel beam fell on his left foot, and doctors had to amputate half of it, he said. He now runs the FeelGood Foundation, a nonprofit advocacy group for 9/11 responders.

    John Feal - [Newsday, 6/25/2007]

    John Feal, creator of the FealGood Foundation, is the mastermind behind the First Responders Concert.

    Feal was a construction worker who began demolition at the World Trade Center site on September 12. On September 17, an 8,000-pound steal beam fell on and crushed his left foot. He was hospitalized for 11 weeks and lost his foot.

    “For a year, I was depressed and suicidal,” like many others who were injured at Ground Zero, Feal, explained. He tried to get worker's comp and appealed to the 9/11 relief fund, but he was turned down.

    In 2003, he decided, “To stop feeling sorry for [him]self,” and devoted his life to making sure that 9/11 victims and their families received the care that they desperately need.

    “It's time for people to help each other,” said Feal, who will also be donating a kidney to a man he met through his organization. “As a country, we took one on the chin and moved forward,” he explained, “but we cannot forget who we left behind.”

    The FealGood Foundation, a non-profit organization Feal created to educate the public about the health effects of 9/11 First Responders, and gives 100 percent of their donations to First Responders to victims and their families, was born out of that determination to help others.

    First Responders are anyone that was at Ground Zero, said Feal, “cops, firefighters, EMS, EMT, even civilians that were effected by 9/11 - we don't discriminate.

    “This is no way for heroes to be treated,” he said of the men and women who worked tirelessly at Ground Zero - many even giving their lives.

    Feal contacted Wasserman about the concert, he explained, as a way for the organization to “step it up a notch and make it bigger,” to help all who were affected. Along with other apparel, the foundation will also be selling limited edition Doo-Wop t-shirts on its web site,

    “We're at 6 years, and its catastrophic now,” he explained of the problems 9/11 victims and their families deal with, and of the lack of help they receive. “Usually fundraising is a lot smaller,” he said about the organization. “We wanted to help on a bigger scale.”

    Feal plans to hold another concert in December, and next year make them a more regular event.

    John Feal - [, 7/5/2007]

    John Feal writes a letter posted on, 7/12/2007

    John Feal writes a letter to Rudy Giuliani posted on, 8/10/2007

    WTC responder spearheads three-way kidney transplant [Newsday, 8/30/2007]

    The newspaper said victim advocates were skeptical that would be adequate to cover care for long-term illnesses of thousands of people and to compensate the roughly 150 families who blame the death of a relative on work at Ground Zero.

    "If you do the math, it's not that handsome a settlement for the 9/11 responders," the newspaper quoted John Feal, a responder and Ground Zero activist, as saying.

    John Feal - [Reuters, 10/16/2007]

    "We didn't think we'd raise that much money. We were just so excited when we found out. We were blown away by how generous people were," said one student.

    But when John Feal arrived, Giles became emotional. Feal lost a foot as a 9/11 responder at ground zero. He is the founder of Feal Good Foundation and has adopted Giles? case.

    "We're going to show the federal government that while they sit idle that people like us that really have nothing after 9/11, can still make a difference and help," Feal said.

    Those who came to the fundraiser brought a donation. In the end, the amount totaled $5,000. The sum brought Giles to tears, once again.

    John Feal - [MSNBC, 10/27/2007]

    Riordan and the group's founder John Feal attended the event Friday night in Barnegat.

    Feal lauded the recent response to Giles' plight, an unfortunate situation which, he pointed out, is not unique among Sept. 11 responders. In the past two months, Feal estimated Riordan, an attorney specializing in workers' compensation, had added 66 cases to his load, including Giles'. Riordan has taken Giles' case pro bono.

    John Feal - [, 10/27/2007

    The efforts received a big boost this week when a published report about his struggles caught the eye of John Feal, a 9/11 responder who heads the FealGood Foundation — a nonprofit organization dedicated to spreading awareness about the disaster's long-term health effects on those who worked at the World Trade Center.

    "In 2001, on Sept. 11, everybody was patriotic and everybody wanted to help. I hope I can resurface some of those feelings," Feal said. "You don't need a plane to hit a building to be compassionate."

    Feal, who has helped dozens of other responders, began a massive public-relations campaign on Giles' behalf, including appearances on Star Jones' CourtTV show and CBS news.

    He drummed up more than $2,000 in a few days, drawing donations from unlikely sources, including more than $100 from elementary school students in Purchase, N.Y.

    "These were 10- and 11-year-olds doing what they can, and, meanwhile, our federal and state government sits by while more and more people die," Feal said.

    As part of his foundation, Feal has advocated for the release of funding to help the estimated 30,000 responders suffering from 9/11-attack-related physical and mental illnesses.

    "There are thousands of Charlie Gileses out there," he said.

    In addition to raising money to save the Giles family home, Feal has found an attorney experienced with 9/11 workers' rights to handle Giles' government claims pro bono. While any government check is undoubtedly too far away to arrive in time for Tuesday's deadline, Feal said he hopes the attention drawn to Giles will spur more support for others in need.

    "People like Charlie Giles can't move on because they don't have justice," he said. "The government needs to do more; that's the bottom line."

    John Feal - [, 10/28/2007]

    "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that all these healthy men who were working in their 30s are dying in their 40s now," said John Feal, head of the not-for-profit Feal Good Foundation, which advocates for 9/11 responders and their families. "In 10 years, we're going to outnumber the people who died [on Sept. 11]."

    John Feal - [, 11/30/2007]

    John Feal, founder of the FealGood Foundation, said, "These people risked their lives without prejudice. There is no money in the world that is going to save their lives, but we can give them a little compassion and respect. We give them a safety and support system and give them hope."

    Feal is a 9/11 first responder. He is one of the many injured at what he calls "The Pile." Feal has had to have his foot amputated and underwent months and months of therapy to recover from the ordeal. Like many 9/11 responders, he also suffers from breathing ailments as a result of his work at the site and can no longer work. Yet, in 2005, he started the FealGood Foundation to help those who are so much worse off than he is.

    Although he may no longer be able to work a job, Feal has made it his daily duty to help other survivors and advocate on their behalf. He even donated a kidney to another first responder - a man he had never met - whose kidneys failed because of his 9/11 service.

    "In 2001, on Sept. 11, everybody was patriotic and everybody wanted to help," Feal said. "You don't need a plane to hit a building to be compassionate."

    John Feal - [, 12/6/2007]

    John Feal, a demolition supervisor who lost part of a foot at ground zero, said, "I am sick and I am disgusted that we're out here in the cold begging for help."

    John Feal - [Newsday, 1/27/2008]

    "This isn't a political issue," said Feal, who has developed lung problems in addition to having 11 surgeries on his feet. "This is a moral and human issue. This is about people dying."

    Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton), praised Feal for the work of the Feal Good Foundation, but added, "he ought not have to do that. ... The public sector has the resources and it has the obligation."

    John Feal - [Newsday, 1/28/2008]

    "We want to implore our new President to make 9/11 health care an issue," said John Feal, a Ground Zero volunteer whose foot was crushed by an 8-ton steel beam.

    His FealGood Foundation, set up to draw attention to the health problems of Ground Zero workers, organized the trip after Congress cut health care funding by 77%.

    Only $25 million has been budgeted for 2009, down from $108 million this year, he said.

    "The bottom line is, human life has taken a backseat to economics," said Feal. "It's an insult.

    John Feal - [NYDailyNews, 2/15/2008]

    "We're not going to stand for being cut out of the budget by 77 percent,” said John Feal, founder of the Fealgood Foundation. “It's not adequate and it’s an insult.”

    John Feal - [, 2/25/2008]

    The trip was co-organized by the FealGood Foundation, established by crippled first respondent John Feal to raise awareness about the health issues faced by the World Trade Center workers. Health advocacy group 9/11 Health Now, based in Babylon, N.Y., also helped plan the lobbying trip.

    John Feal - [, 2/26/2008]

    The bus ride was organized by the FealGood Foundation, a group founded by John Feal, a 9/11 volunteer whose foot was crushed by an 8-ton steel beam.

    "This is like show and tell," Feal told the Daily News Monday. "For 6 1/2 years we've been neglected, denied and lied to."

    John Feal - [NYDailyNews, 2/26/2008]

    The rally was organized by the Fealgood Foundation and its founder, John Feal, 41, of Nesconset, who said a piece of steel crushed one of his feet when he was working on a demolition crew at the trade center. He said he faced foreclosure on his home after he was denied workers' compensation and Social Security benefits.

    "I am one mad American," Feal told the crowd.

    John Feal - Newsday, 2/26/2008]

    Though the recent ruling is good news for Feal and his fellow responders, he wasn't completely content with the decision. Feal said in a phone interview that the decision was "a step in the right direction, but it was four to five years late." However, he added that he was "optimistic that by the end of the year, people will start getting compensated."

    John Feal - [, 4/2/2008]

    "This gives legitimate foundations a black eye," said John Feal, whose FealGood Foundation replaced Parisi's as a charity partner for the motorcycle run.

    "As a foundation founder, I'm not surprised," he said. "As a 9/11 responder, I was irate."

    John Feal - [NJHerald, 4/13/2008]

    Activist John Feal said there's only one punishment for Whitman that fits the crime. "She should go to jail for manslaughter," he said.

    John Feal - [NYDailyNews, 4/23/2008]

    Here is an article in Newsday about "Save The Brave."

    Sept. 11 First Responders to Visit W.Va. School

    Posted: October 21, 2008

    BUCKHANNON, W.Va. – John Feal, founding president of the FealGood Foundation and a demolition expert who worked at Ground Zero following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, will bring his message to Upshur County students and residents on Friday, Oct. 24. Feal and up to seven other first responders will meet with students at Buchannon Upshur High School beginning at 8:30 a.m. The group will meet with the community later in the day.

    Feal, like 70 percent of 9/11 workers, suffers from post-9/11 illnesses. One of his feet had to be amputated after being crushed by an eight-ton steel beam. He also suffers from a respiratory syndrome called World Trade Center Cough and posttraumatic stress disorder.

    Feal agreed to visit West Virginia after some Buckhannon-Upshur High School students contacted him via e-mail after watching a documentary in health educator Mateal Poling’s class. The documentary, Save the Brave, chronicles the daily struggles of 9/11 Ground Zero workers in the seven years since the attacks. Greg Quibell, one of the men featured, died of his injuries the day before the film’s premiere in New York.

    “You have no idea how excited they were when Feal replied -- me too,” Poling said. “It is hard to imagine that these kids were only first and second graders on 9/11, but thanks to Feal’s efforts, our students are starting to have a better understanding of the profound effects of that day.”

    Feal said he is “humbled and honored to meet such amazing Americans.”

    “They are a reflection of the teacher who has taught them well,” Feal said. “Your resolve and testament is what makes great future leaders of this country. We look forward to coming to the great state of West Virginia to share our stories and tell of the thousands that need our help.”

    The FealGood Foundation’s primary mission, according to its Web site “is to spread awareness and educate the public about the catastrophic health effects on 9/11 first responders, as well as to provide assistance to relieve these great heroes of the financial burdens placed on them over the last five years.” The foundation also works to create a network of advocacy on 9/11 healthcare issues.

    For more information, contact Mateal Poling or Mikaela Poling at (304) 472-2155 or by e-mail at The FealGood Foundation’s Web site is
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  10. #570
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Reopen 9/11 health fund, pols plead

    By Michael Mcauliff
    Thursday, April 23rd 2009, 4:00 AM

    WASHINGTON - The push to win long-term help for the heroes of 9/11 inched forward in Congress on Wednesday with an impassioned display meant to prod forgetful lawmakers to act.

    Several New York legislators are trying to reopen the Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund to aid thousands of responders and others who have gotten sick since the fund closed in 2005.

    But their colleagues have balked at the potential cost, leaving the measure to languish without a vote.

    In testimony meant to finally move the bill, New Yorkers admitted the cost is high, but said it pales next to the sacrifices made by people who answered the call on Sept. 11, 2001 - many of whom packed a House hearing room.

    "The solutions ... are neither easy nor inexpensive, but they are part of our country's moral obligation," said Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens). "We must take care of the people who took care of us."

    "There is really no reason to delay this any further," said Long Island Rep. Pete King, a Republican, who noted there are people ill from their 9/11 service in 431 of the 435 congressional districts.

    "We are so close to the finishing line," he said. "I really think it would be outrageous and disgraceful not to get the job done."

    Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand are working on the measure in the Senate, where its future appears even less certain.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

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