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Thread: A Fallen Hero - Video Inside

  1. #211
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    Line-of-Duty Death Benefits for Officer’s Work After 9/11

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/21/ny...l?ref=nyregion

    By SEWELL CHAN
    Published: March 21, 2007

    The New York City Police Pension Fund has approved line-of-duty death benefits for the family of Cesar A. Borja, the police officer whose death in January became a symbol of the plight of those who worked in Lower Manhattan after 9/11.

    The fund’s board unanimously approved the benefits on March 14. The decision, which was expected, did not resolve the question of what caused the chronic lung ailment that killed Officer Borja and what role his work in Lower Manhattan might have had in the development of the disease.

    Under a state law signed by Gov. George E. Pataki in June 2005, public employees who took part in the World Trade Center rescue, recovery or cleanup efforts are presumed, if they became permanently disabled because of certain medical conditions, to have gotten sick in connection with the disaster.

    The law applies to those who worked at least 40 hours between Sept. 11, 2001, and Sept. 12, 2002, at the World Trade Center site, the city morgue, the Fresh Kills landfill or on the barges that ran between Manhattan and the landfill. The conditions covered include respiratory, gastroesophageal, psychological and skin illnesses, as well as late-onset diseases like cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and musculoskeletal disorders.

    In August 2006, Mr. Pataki signed a second law that extended line-of-duty death benefits to the survivors of public workers who were covered under the first law and later died from their diseases.

    Both laws were approved by the State Legislature and signed by Mr. Pataki over the objections of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who argued that Albany was saddling the city with obligations without providing money to meet them. The city estimates that the first bill will cost the city $53 million a year, and the second bill $10 million a year.

    Mr. Bloomberg has lately become more supportive of efforts to provide more aid for workers and residents who say they have become ill from exposure to the dust at ground zero. Today, the mayor is scheduled to testify in Washington before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions about the long-term health effects of the 9/11 attack.

    On Feb. 13, a panel appointed by the mayor urged the federal government to sharply increase 9/11 health spending and recommended the creation of a special fund to compensate those who became sick.

    Nonetheless, the report stated that the two state laws “do not rely on medical research.” The report said that in some cases, the Police Department’s medical staff and the Police Pension Fund may reach opposing conclusions about whether an injury occurred in the line of duty.

    Officer Borja’s case embodies some of the continuing controversy over 9/11 health issues.

    It was widely reported that Officer Borja, who died at age 52, rushed to ground zero after the twin towers fell. On the evening he died, Jan. 23, his son, Ceasar, attended the State of the Union address to draw attention to the plight of 9/11 workers.

    In an article last month, The New York Times reported that Officer Borja, who was assigned to a tow pound in Queens, did not rush to the disaster site and in fact did not work a formal shift in the area until December 2001, after much of the site had been cleared and the fire in the remaining pile had been declared extinguished.

    Officer Borja’s memo book showed him working in Lower Manhattan for 17 days over several months after 9/11. But experts say that depending on factors like genetics, his illness, diagnosed as pulmonary fibrosis, can conceivably be caused by modest exposure to certain toxic substances.

    According to city records, Officer Borja retired in June 2003 after 20 years of service to the city. Before his death, he received a regular retirement pension of about $34,000 a year, or roughly half his final salary.

    After becoming sick, Officer Borja applied in April 2006 for an accidental disability pension under the 2005 law. The application had not yet been acted on when he died.

    The Police Pension Fund has yet to calculate the precise amount of the death benefits, but it will most likely be $69,000 to $74,000 a year, officials said.

    A woman who answered the telephone at the Borja residence yesterday declined to comment on the pension decision.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  2. #212
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    New Yorkers get special 9/11 clinic

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6474449.stm

    By Matt Wells
    BBC News, New York

    More than five years after the attacks on the World Trade Center, thousands of New York's downtown residents are convinced that toxic residues still lurking inside their homes are damaging their health.

    And it seems that the city's politicians and health authorities are taking their concerns seriously.

    A new health clinic to diagnose and treat those people who live and work around Ground Zero has just opened with more than $17m funding from the city and from private charities.

    Native Welshman-turned-New Yorker Craig Hall is president of the World Trade Center Residents' Coalition. "Things will get worse as the years go on - that's our worry," he says, while handing out health-survey leaflets in the lobby of one downtown residential block.

    Many of the "first-responders" to the 9/11 attacks - firefighters, medics and police, together with volunteers who sorted through the debris - have suffered from well-publicised respiratory problems. Their medical treatment and assessment has been on-going for several years now.

    But Mr Hall believes that ordinary citizens are still at risk and that the legacy of the destruction of the towers is far more active and pernicious than previously thought.

    Dust reservoirs
    "We lived and worked down here, and the buildings have still not been cleaned properly... We believe there are still dust reservoirs inside the air-conditioning units," Mr Hall says.

    "There's all the pulverised glass-fibre, the concrete dust, and when all this stuff's mixed in with the PCBs, the heavy-metals, the mercury, the lead - it's a really toxic soup."

    Mr Hall has been diagnosed with lung damage, and he maintains that there are too many others who share common symptoms - such as so-called "World Trade Center cough", shortness of breath, and chronic digestion problems - for it to be put down to stress or psychosomatic factors.

    Downtown residents' groups are still hoping for millions more in federal funding from Washington, but New York and its mayor, Michael Bloomberg, have already responded to their concerns.

    The state-of-the-art WTC Environmental Health Center has just opened on the second floor of the vast Bellevue Hospital, just above the downtown area, on First Avenue.

    Symptoms 'real'
    The small team of medical specialists grew out of an asthma clinic, and it now includes a number of psychologists. The unit is headed by Dr Joan Reibman, who is convinced that the symptoms are real and medically related.

    "We've not seen abuse of this programme," she said, answering the question of whether some residents were just using the free services of the clinic to treat issues that had nothing to do with 11 September.

    In fact, she believes that there has been reluctance on the part of many, to come forward and accept that 9/11 may be making them ill.

    "Because people have been so appreciative of the work of the responders - people were embarrassed to say that we honour these people but we also have some symptoms as well," she said.

    Risk 'exaggerated'
    But not all New Yorkers are convinced that funding potentially limitless health care for those living near Ground Zero, is a fair strategy. There are some limited-government advocates who believe tougher questions need to be asked.

    "Just as the media and politicians should take care not to heighten terrorism's impact by exaggerating the risk it poses to the public, so, too, should we be cautious about making an already-nervous population think they have been 'poisoned'," writes Todd Seavey, on the subject of a workers' health study published last September.

    But at the new clinic treating the residents, Dr Reibman is diplomatic on the question of the continuing threat posed by potential toxic residue.

    "Unfortunately, there was no real, consistent clean-up of Lower-Manhattan, and we don't really know what was in the buildings... and what remains in the buildings. Certainly, it remains an issue with other agencies."
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  3. #213
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    Hillary plots 9/11 attack on Rudy

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle1596828.ece

    Tony Allen-Mills, New York
    3/31/2007

    The first face-to-face confrontation of the 2008 presidential race is looming over a US Senate inquiry into health problems suffered by workers at New York’s ground zero after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

    As the chairwoman of a Senate subcommittee investigating complaints that workers were misled about air quality after the collapse of the twin towers, Senator Hillary Clinton, the Democrat front-runner for the presidential nomination, confirmed last week that she is considering calling Rudolph Giuliani, the former mayor of New York and the leading Republican contender, to testify at a public hearing.

    The health committee’s inquiry has presented Clinton with an intriguing political choice with potentially volatile repercussions for the presidential race. By calling Giuliani as a witness, she could place him in the awkward position of having to submit to her senatorial authority and face a grilling that might dent the heroic image he acquired for his response to the 9/11 attacks.

    At the same time Democratic aides have acknowledged that Clinton might risk being accused of playing politics with a tragedy. Giuliani said last week that he was happy to testify “to anybody who has a fair mind about it” and is “approaching it from a nonpolitical point of view”.
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    Clinton said last week she was still “looking at all the people available to testify”. But other prominent New York Democrats have demanded Giuliani should answer questions about whether he could have done more as mayor to protect the workers who spent weeks digging in dust and dirt that is now considered to have been dangerously toxic.

    “Who made decisions, if any, that resulted unnecessarily in a lot of people getting sick?” asked Congressman Jerrold Nadler, whose district includes the World Trade Center site.

    The Senate inquiry follows claims by at least 9,000 New Yorkers that they are suffering from lung and stomach ailments they blame on the toxic rubble at ground zero. Their cause attracted national attention in January when Clinton invited the son of Cesar Borja, a stricken New York policeman, to attend President George W Bush’s state of the union address as her guest. Borja was waiting for a lung transplant but died of respiratory failure a few hours before Bush spoke.

    Despite subsequent revelations that Borja may not have spent long periods working at ground zero, the health inquiry has become a potential embarrassment for Giuliani, who is increasingly being forced to defend the actions that made him a national icon. He was dubbed “America’s mayor” by Oprah Winfrey, the talk show host.

    Last month Giuliani was fiercely criticised by a firemen’s union that has never forgiven him for halting the search for bodies. The mayor was anxious at the time that clean-up operations should begin, but more than five years later body parts are still being found around ground zero.

    He has also been criticised for failing to provide the New York Fire Department with more modern communications equipment, which was requested after the attack on the World Trade Center in 1993.

    Sally Regenhard, whose son was one of the 343 firefighters killed in the attacks, said last week she had no problem if Giuliani ran for president on his record of reducing New York crime, “but when he runs on 9/11, I want the American people to know he was part of the problem”.

    Clinton has been swift to exploit her rival’s difficulties. She earned three standing ovations at a firemen’s convention in Washington this month and promised that, as president, she would “take care of the people who have taken care of us”.

    Yet she has also been careful to avoid direct criticism of Giuliani, and several analysts have warned that a face-to-face challenge on his 9/11 record would be risky. “It’s not smart strategy. It’s too early,” Douglas Muzzio, a political science professor at Baruch College, told the New York Sun. Instead she should “take the high road”.

    Behind the fencing over health issues lies mounting pressure on both Clinton and Giuliani camps to maintain the healthy opinion poll leads that each has staked out in the race for their respective party nominations. In a Gallup poll published last week by USA Today, Giuliani’s lead over Senator John McCain of Arizona had shrunk from 24 points at the beginning of March to nine points three weeks later.

    The former mayor also faces a possible challenge from former senator Fred Thompson, a Hollywood actor turned conservative politician who shot from nil to 12 points in the same poll, simply by announcing that he was considering entering the race.

    In the Gallup poll, Clinton’s lead over Senator Barack Obama, who is seeking to become the first African-American president, narrowed slightly from 14 points to 13 points.

    On Thursday a new Time magazine poll gave Clinton only an eight point lead over Obama, with former senator John Edwards apparently benefiting from a major sympathy boost after the announcement that his wife’s cancer has become incurable. Edwards jumped nine points to 26 points, only four behind Obama.

    If Clinton decides to call Giuliani as a witness, her health inquiry may turn into an intriguing preview of next year’s presidential debates. But the ex-mayor warned the senator last week that he expected any testimony about health issues at ground zero to be “above politics”, and he also reminded her he was a possible victim himself.

    “I was probably there as often as anybody, as you know,” he said. “So any exposure to anything bad that anyone else has, I personally had.”
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  4. #214
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    New Maloney Bill To Help 9/11 Responders

    http://www.qgazette.com/news/2007/04...tures/032.html

    BY JOHN TOSCANO
    4/4/2007

    The first legislation that provides both health care and compensation to individuals who were sick or injured as a result of the 9/11 attacks was introduced last week by Congressmembers Carolyn Maloney and Vito Fossella, who have been in the forefront of the effort to take care of Ground Zero first responders.

    At the same time, Mayor Michael Bloomberg appealed to a U.S. Senate committee to reopen the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund for ailing Ground Zero responders and to provide the $150 million needed annually to continue to treat them.

    The mayor urged panel members to support a bill introduced by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D- New York) that would provide grants for 9/11-related health care.

    Bloomberg stated: "Congress cannot turn its back on those who responded with courage and suffered through this terrible catastrophe."

    The Maloney- Fossella bipartisan bill would extend long-term medical monitoring to everyone exposed to Ground Zero toxins and provide federally funded health care to anyone who has become sick as a result.

    Additionally, the legislation would reopen the federal victim Compensation Fund. (VCF), for which the mayor appealed at the Senate committee hearing.

    Maloney said the VCF would take care of the sick 9/11 responders and Lower Manhattan residents.

    Original co-sponsors of the Maloney- Fossella bill included Congressmember Joseph Crowley (D- Queens/The Bronx). The measure is named after James Zadroga, a New York Police Department homicide detective and 9/11 responder who died as a result of exposures to toxins at Ground Zero.

    Maloney declared that the Zadroga Act would "provide both medical care and compensation for sick and injured responders, residents, workers and students".

    The legislation, she said, also "ensures long-term, direct funding for the highly successful Centers of Excellence at Mt. Sinai Hospital, Bellevue Hospital and the FDNY".

    "Thousands of Americans are suffering as a direct result of 9/11," Maloney added. "Our bill provides medical monitoring for everyone exposed to Ground Zero toxins, treatment for anyone who's sick, and compensation for anyone who sustained economic losses due to illness or injury."

    Fossella said, "This bill goes further by directing the National Institutes of Health to conduct research so that doctors can more effectively diagnose and treat the unique health issues related to 9/11."
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  5. #215
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    9/11 responders urged to register for health funds
    N.Y. has set a deadline of Aug. 14 for workers to file for compensation.

    http://www.philly.com/inquirer/local...lth_funds.html

    By Jane M. Von Bergen
    Inquirer Staff Writer
    4/8/2007

    For three days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Matt Quigley, driven by patriotism and an intense desire to help, stood in a bucket line on the hot remains of the World Trade Center, frantically removing debris, hoping to find someone alive.

    The Gloucester County construction laborer had no respirator - despite the presence of dust and fumes that turned the noon sky black and blanketed everything in a pale-gray, asbestos-laden powder.

    Quigley, now 43, would do it again, even though, he said this week, "I feel like my chest is always heavy. I've got a hard time breathing. My lungs are always filled. My doctor tells me I have the lungs of a 70-year-old man."

    As public-health workers, labor activists, and lawyers in New York learn more about the health problems of workers who responded Sept. 11, 2001, they are frantically trying to reach beyond Manhattan's borders to people such as Quigley, who lives in Clayton.

    More than 20,000 people, by some estimates, rushed toward Lower Manhattan after the attack to help, many coming from nearby states.

    The New York State Workers' Compensation Board, which has funds to help cover health-care costs, has set a deadline of Aug. 14 for Sept. 11 workers to register.

    That marks their place so they can file a claim for benefits - either now if they are already sick, or later if they develop an illness. Eligible workers include volunteers and out-of-state residents.

    Separately, public-health specialists from the World Trade Center Medical Monitoring Program want to examine as many Sept. 11 workers as possible for health problems, including respiratory ailments such as asthma and severe sinusitis, as well as acid reflux and lingering psychological issues. Besides providing care, the program's aim is to gain understanding of medical trends and treatment needs over time.

    On Thursday, PhilaPOSH, the labor-funded Philadelphia Area Project on Occupational Safety and Health, brought in experts on World Trade Center health problems for sparsely attended informational meetings at the Iron Workers Local 401 union hall in Northeast Philadelphia.

    PhilaPOSH's sister organization, the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH), has been coordinating the major outreach effort in New York.

    Among the speakers was former Northeast High School graduate Stephen Levin, medical director of the Mount Sinai Irving J. Selikoff Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine in New York, which has examined 16,000 Sept. 11 responders. Half of them have been diagnosed with illnesses.

    Levin used photographs of the World Trade Center to illustrate the dust and fumes that workers breathed - images Quigley recalls vividly.

    "We came across hands, legs, people buried under steel, and there was no color, no blood. If you found a hand, there would be no blood because the dust absorbed it all," said Quigley, who started as a Sept. 11 volunteer and later became a paid worker.

    Levin said doctors often treated workers' respiratory problems as infections when, as it turned out, many were the result of chemical burns in their lungs.

    When the towers collapsed, "it reduced everything to a finer size than is usually found in a demolition site," he said. The powder and glass fibers are what is now causing problems.

    Some who helped after Sept. 11 were trained rescue workers. Construction companies such as J.S. Cornell & Son in Philadelphia dispatched ironworkers and riggers because they were experienced in moving heavy beams in precarious situations.

    "I got a lot more shortness of breath" after working there, said Craig Collins, 47, of Gilbertsville, an ironworker sent by Cornell two days after the attack. He stayed to volunteer. "I just attributed it to getting older."

    Ironworker James Weisser, 47, of Perkiomenville, also went up for Cornell, first as a worker, then as a volunteer. "Last year, I had a heart attack, and I have a little trouble breathing," he said.

    Both men filled out claim forms at Thursday's event.

    So did a Philadelphia firefighter who responded to Manhattan on Sept. 11. Now he has breathing problems and still feels traumatized. But he's afraid to admit to being sick, because he's worried about losing his job.

    9/11 Health-Related Claims

    What's the deadline to register? It is Aug. 14, under the New York State Workers' Compensation Law.

    Who should register? Anyone who did rescue, recovery and cleanup work in Lower Manhattan, at the Staten Island landfill, on the landfill barges, and at the morgue from Sept. 11, 2001, to Sept. 12, 2002.

    Can volunteers or undocumented workers file? Yes.

    Do you have to be a resident of New York State? No.

    What's the procedure? Call 1-866-WTC-2556 for a claim form for workers' compensation benefits.

    What if you are healthy? Registering protects you if you develop a 9/11-related illness later.

    For more information:

    The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health at 212-227-6440 or www.nycosh.org.

    The World Trade Center Medical Monitoring Program at 1-888-702-0630 or www.wtcexams.org. The closest facility is at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Piscataway at 732-445-0123. A Philadelphia-area clinic is expected to open this year.

    Philadelphia Area Project on Occupational Safety and Health at 215-386-7000 or www.philaposh.org.

    SOURCE: New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  6. #216
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    $4.7 Million Raised to Treat Those Who Fell Ill After 9/11

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/09/nyregion/09fund.html

    Published: April 9, 2007

    The 9/11 Neediest Medical Campaign to help those who developed serious illnesses after the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center has collected $300,000 since February for a total of nearly $4.7 million, fund officials announced.

    Recent contributions or pledges to the campaign include $104,000 from the Star-Ledger Disaster Relief Fund of the Community Foundation of New Jersey; $100,000 from the Carnegie Corporation; and $112,000 from 205 individual donors.

    The funds will be divided between Mount Sinai Medical Center and Bellevue Hospital Center for uninsured patients. A $100,000 grant will go to St. Vincent’s World Trade Center Healing Services for treatment of patients suffering major mental illnesses arising from 9/11.

    In February, The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund, the New York Community Trust, the Ford Foundation, and the Open Society Institute each contributed $1 million to a charity organized by the Neediest Cases Fund. The Altman Foundation also gave $250,000, the United Way of New York City $75,000, and Trinity Church $25,000.

    The board of the Community Trust voted on Friday to divide its grant of $1 million between Bellevue and Beyond Ground Zero, a community service organization that works with Bellevue to help people affected by the 9/11 disaster.

    Last year, the federal government provided $26 million to treat some, but not all, who fell ill after the attack. The money from the Neediest Medical Campaign will be available to doctors whose patients are not eligible for federal aid.

    The city’s World Trade Center Health Panel in February estimated that screening and treatment of ailments associated with ground zero costs the nation $393 million annually.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  7. #217
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    9/11 IS STILL TAKING COPS' BREATH AWAY

    http://www.nypost.com/seven/04162007..._campanile.htm

    By CARL CAMPANILE

    April 16, 2007 -- The environmental disaster caused by 9/11 hit New York's Finest especially hard, a shocking new health study shows.

    The number of police responders who suffered from respiratory illnesses more than doubled a year and half after initial post-9/11 medical checkups, the survey said.

    "Most of the lower-respiratory symptoms increased between one month and 19 months after 9/11," said the analysis of 471 officers, conducted by Penn State/Monmouth University medical researchers.

    Some 44 percent reported shortness of breath 19 months later, up from 19 percent a month after the disaster.

    Cops who reported coughing up phlegm shot up to 31 percent from 14 percent and those wheezing doubled to 26 percent from 13 percent by mid-2003, according to the study published in the Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine.

    About 43 percent of officers screened in October 2001 had what is called World Trade Center cough - and the same percentage reported hacking symptoms in 2003.

    "We were surprised by the results. The delayed onset was unexpected. We were looking to see improvement over time," co-author Dr. Mark Tulchinsky told The Post.

    Among the findings is that one-third of cops who didn't have WTC cough still reported shortness of breath.

    It's the first study that solely tracked the health of police officers involved in Ground Zero efforts.

    The findings mirror prior 9/11 health studies and show that many cops were sickened as severely as firefighters.

    A medical analysis of firefighters last year found that FDNY rescuers who sucked in toxic air at Ground Zero lost the equivalent of 12 years of lung function. And a Mount Sinai study found 70 percent of rescue and cleanup workers reported worsening respiratory conditions between 2002 and 2004.

    The study grouped police officers in three categories: heavy exposure for those who worked at Ground Zero during the massive cloud plume from the collapse of the buildings; moderate for those who worked downtown on Sept. 12 and thereafter; and light risk for those on duty in other boroughs on and after 9/11.

    "Heavy exposure conferred a higher likelihood of developing all four early-onset respiratory symptoms compared with light exposure," the researchers said.

    For instance, about half of cops in the heavy-exposure group had chronic cough, compared to 31 percent among the lightly exposed group by 2003.

    And 46 percent of those in the high-exposure group suffered shortness of breath, compared to 32 percent in the low-risk group.

    Meanwhile 29 percent of the heavy exposed cops were wheezing compared to just to 14 percent in the low-risk group.

    But even in the light-risk group, the number with wheezing quadrupled over 19 months.

    The reason why some cops got sick sooner and others later - and others not at all - remains a mystery and could be chalked up to the physical condition of each person as well as the severity of exposure, the report said.

    "Even a slight exposure in a susceptible individual can produce significant symptoms, while a higher exposure may produce no symptoms in someone who is less susceptible," the study said.

    The findings support the need for continuing monitoring and treatment of all WTC rescue and cleanup workers - not just those with early respiratory symptoms - researchers concluded.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  8. #218
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    9/11 KID'S BENEFITS

    http://www.nypost.com/seven/04122007..._campanile.htm

    By CARL CAMPANILE

    April 12, 2007 -- The city yesterday awarded full benefits to the daughter of Detective James Zadroga - whose death from lung disease contracted at Ground Zero led to a new law providing more generous benefits to families of responders struck by 9/11- related illness.

    The police pension board voted unanimously to give 5-year-old Tyler Ann a 100 percent line of duty benefit until she's an adult. She also will receive health insurance.

    Prior to the decision, she was receiving a 75 percent benefit and no health insurance.

    A New Jersey coroner had concluded Zadroga's death was caused by breathing toxic dust from the collapsed World Trade Center towers in the first such medical finding for a Ground Zero responder.

    Tyler Ann's mom has died from an unrelated illness and her grandparents now care for her.

    The pension board acted after the Detectives Endowment Association helped convince the state Legislature to pass the "Zadroga Law" increasing survivor benefits.

    Meanwhile, another victim of the attack has been identified, officials said yesterday.

    She's Carol LaPlante, who was last seen on a security camera leaving a church before heading to her office at the Trade Center.

    LaPlante, 59, worked for Marsh & McLennan - which occupied floors 93 through 100 of the north tower.

    The Medical Examiner's Office has identified 1,607 of 2,749 victims from 9/11 so far and continues to retest remains as advances in DNA technology become available.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    Court Backs EPA Chief in 9/11 Toxins Case

    http://www.nysun.com/article/52903

    By JOSEPH GOLDSTEIN
    Staff Reporter of the Sun
    April 20, 2007

    A federal appellate court has decided that it was not "conscience-shocking" for the head of the Environmental Protection Agency to have reassured New Yorkers that the air near ground zero was safe following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, even if the air was toxic.

    Yesterday's decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals throws out a lawsuit against a former leader of the EPA, Christine Whitman.

    The panel of three judges reasoned that the government's interest in returning New York to normalcy following the attacks should protect it from lawsuits alleging that the government made false statements about air quality. The court did not make any factual finding as to the quality of the air, or as to whether the EPA had intentionally misled the public, which Ms. Whitman has denied doing.

    "When great harm is likely to befall someone no matter what a government official does, the allocation of risk may be a burden on the conscience of the one who must make such decisions, but does not shock the contemporary conscience," the circuit's chief judge, Dennis Jacobs, wrote. "These principles apply notwithstanding the great service rendered by those who repaired New York, the heroism of those who entered the site when it was unstable and on fire, and the serious health consequences that are plausibly alleged."

    Whether a government official's actions are "conscience-shocking" is a legal standard that decides whether an official is liable, in certain types of lawsuits.

    "I always thought that if you accepted they were lies — lies to get these people working down there — that those lies were inherently conscience-shocking," the lawyer who brought the case, Stephen Riegel of Weitz and Luxemberg P.C., said.

    The lawsuit was a class action on behalf of those who searched for survivors and cleaned up ground zero following the attacks. The men now suffer respiratory ailments, Mr. Riegel said.

    A spokesman for the Justice Department declined to comment.

    The court's holding in this case suggests that it will also dismiss a similar suit brought on behalf of residents near to the World Trade Center. The ruling yesterday is unlikely to have a result on another class action on behalf of workers at ground zero, which was brought under a different legal theory, Mr. Riegel said.

    The panel also included judges Reena Raggi and Robert Sack.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  10. #220
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    THAT IS FUCKING BULLSHIT!!!
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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