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Thread: A Fallen Hero - Video Inside

  1. #381
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    New Study Released On Respiratory Problems For 9/11 Workers

    http://www.ny1.com/ny1/content/index...=203&aid=75491

    November 10, 2007

    A new study released this month shows state employees who worked at the World Trade Center site after the toxic dust cloud cleared are suffering from the same respiratory problems as workers who were there during the actual September 11th terrorist attacks -- just to a lower degree.

    The study by the New York State Department of Health looked at more than 1,400 state police, National Guard members, and state Department of Transportation workers, including 110 who were in the dust cloud when the Twin Towers fell.

    Of those studied, one-third arrived during the first two days after the attacks and 57 percent arrived before Sept. 16, 2001.

    The study found nearly 47 percent of workers not caught in the dust cloud reported lower respiratory problems, compared with a little more than 57 percent of those caught in the dust cloud.

    Of those not caught in the cloud, 33 percent said they suffered from psychological symptoms – compared to just over 36 percent of those directly exposed to the cloud.

    The report was published in the November issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  2. #382
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    Former NFL player walks through Knoxville for 9/11

    http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2007/no...-player-walks/

    By Lauren Spuhler
    Updated 04:16 p.m., November 13, 2007

    A retired New York Giant is walking through Knoxville today as part of a larger journey.

    George Martin is spending nearly six months walking across America to raise money for 9/11 charities.

    A defensive end and co-captain of the New York Giants Super Bowl-winning team in 1986, Martin started his walk, called "A Journey for 9/11," to raise money and awareness of health issues of recovery workers and the first responders at the World Trade Center tragedy.

    "As a transplanted New Yorker, it's a blending of two passions that I have," Martin said.

    Martin, a Greenville, S.C. native, said he's always wanted to walk across the country and loves the outdoors. Raising money for charities also allows him a chance to give back.

    Martin arrived in Knoxville Monday night and walked along Magnolia and Western Avenues toward Oak Ridge on Tuesday. He estimates his walk through Tennessee will take about 40 days.

    He's traveling with three other men and the weather has not slowed them down much.

    "We did get drenched a little bit earlier," Martin said.

    If it thunders this afternoon, the group will break for the day and start again Wednesday morning.

    Martin's walk began on Sept. 16 at the George Washington Bridge in New York and will conclude at San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge in February or March.

    To date, Martin has raised just over $1.4 million and hopes to reach $10 million when he finishes.

    For his efforts, Martin will be awarded the second Heisman Humanitarian Award in December by the Heisman Trophy Trust.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  3. #383
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    N.Y. State responders to 9/11 attack also have physical, mental health symptoms

    http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/...s_1004633.html

    November 14th, 2007

    For the study, lead author Dr. Matthew P. Mauer of the New York State Department of Health, and colleagues evaluated health effects in 1,423 state workers who responded to the WTC disaster.

    The majority of these workers were from the New York State Police, National Guard, or Department of Transportation.

    As a group, the state workers had less-intense exposure to conditions at “Ground Zero” than reported in previous studies of first responders, such as New York City police or firefighters.

    Still, two-thirds were working at the WTC site during the last two weeks of September, 2001. In addition, 110 of the state workers were in the vicinity of the WTC before the attacks and were caught in the cloud of dust when the towers collapsed, the researchers said.

    When evaluated in 2002-2003, the state workers had elevated rates of physical and mental health symptoms, with nearly half having respiratory (breathing-related) symptoms. The most common symptom, reported by 30 percent of workers, was a dry cough.

    The team found that nearly one-third of the state workers had experienced new or worsening psychological symptoms since working at the WTC site: most commonly sleep problems, fatigue, and irritability. Just three percent of affected workers had received any treatment for these symptoms.

    Both types of symptoms were more common among workers who were caught in the cloud of dust. This included specific psychological symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), such as feeling jumpy/easily startled, difficulty concentrating or remembering things, and flashbacks.

    Previous studies have reported various health effects in WTC first responders and community residents. The health evaluations in New York State workers provide an opportunity to evaluate the effects of later exposure to conditions at the disaster site.

    The results suggest that, despite their lower exposure, state workers who responded to the WTC disaster have also experienced negative health effects. Although the workers in the new study generally have fewer symptoms, the types of symptoms are similar to those in studies of first responders.

    Dr. Mauer and co-authors write, “Clinicians treating patients who responded to the WTC disaster should be aware that responders with less exposure than first responders have reported respiratory and psychological symptoms.”

    The study is published in the November issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, official publication of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM). (ANI)
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  4. #384
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    Journey for 9/11 crosses East Tennessee
    A former pro-football player is walking across the country for a good cause.

    http://www.wbir.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=51322

    By: Emily Stroud, Reporter
    Date created: 11/14/2007 3:19:26 PM

    Wednesday, that walk took him through East Tennessee.

    The walk from New York to San Francisco is called "A Journey for 9/11."

    George Martin is doing it to raise $10,000,000 for 9/11 first responders struck with respiratory illnesses.

    "Now that they need our help, I feel that it's incumbent upon every citizen, even those of us who are former professional athletes, to lend a hand and call attention to the plight they are suffering right now," said Martin.

    He and his support team cover about 20 miles or so a day.

    "We're going to go 11 or 12 miles this morning," he said, walking with long strides on the shoulder of Highway 62. "And then we'll re-assess this afternoon depending on the weather conditions."

    The weather conditions in Oliver Springs were foggy. But the former New York Giants football player has a sunny attitude about East Tennessee.

    "The people have been fantastic," he said. "Tennesseans have been the best of all. They've brought us food, beverages, shelter, you name it. And they've made contributions to the journey for 9/11 which is the important thing."

    So far he's raised almost one and half million dollars for his non-profit cause.

    "Every dollar that's raised is going to be matched by an additional dollar by the medical community," he explained.

    Martin plans to cross the Golden Gate Bridge and meet his $10,000,000 goal early next year.

    "It's just a small way for us to show our appreciation and give back to true American heroes."

    You can track his journey on the web. Click on the link in the upper right hand corner of this page.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  5. #385
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    9/11 SUITS IN LEGAL LIMBO
    GRAVELY ILL LEFT HANGING

    http://www.nypost.com/seven/11252007...mbo_343414.htm



    By SUSAN EDELMAN

    November 25, 2007 -- The judge overseeing the lawsuits of thousands of sick 9/11 rescue workers says he won't speed up trials for several responders described as being "on death's door."

    Manhattan federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein refused a request to set early trials for three World Trade Center workers who suffer severe lung disease.

    "I'm not going to do that," Hellerstein said in court Nov. 16. He later heard details in his chambers about retired NYPD detective Michael Valentin, 43, retired NYPD officer Frank Maisano, 41, and Ground Zero morgue volunteer Mary Bishop, 45.

    "All three of them are on death's door," lawyer Paul Napoli said.

    While sympathetic, Hellerstein said there are too many legal issues to start individual cases, according to lawyers in the conference.

    The city has so far refused to negotiate an out-of-court deal, but has urged Congress to reopen the Victim Compensation Fund to compensate sick workers.

    Maisano arrived at Ground Zero when the second tower collapsed, and was caught in the dust and smoke, NYPD records show. He worked 16-hour shifts over the next four days, and later did tours sifting debris at Fresh Kills landfill.

    Nearly three years later, he collapsed while chasing a robber.

    His 9/11 line-of-duty disability pension pays three-quarters of his $60,000 officer's salary, without life insurance.

    Bishop, who worked in an HIV lab at St. Vincent's Hospital downtown, boarded an ambulance to Ground Zero on 9/11 and stayed 24 days as a volunteer, labeling and bagging body parts.

    She got skin cancer and developed chronic lung disease that is "too far gone" to operate, her lawyer, Marc Bern, told the judge.

    Bishop shares a cramped Queens apartment with her 24-year-old daughter Natasha, a hospital worker who supports her. She relies on an electric respirator.

    Her sister, Marlene, is bitter: "It hurts to see how my sister sacrificed, and what she got in return - a slap in the face."
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  6. #386
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    Lawyer accused of using scare tactics to get 9/11 victims to settle

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2007...actics_to.html

    BY THOMAS ZAMBITO
    DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
    Sunday, November 25th 2007, 4:00 AM

    Lawyers negotiating on behalf of thousands of 9/11 workers are being accused of using scare tactics - similar to those allegedly employed in another high-profile case - to get the ailing workers to settle quickly.

    Lawyer Marc Bern sent a letter to 9/11 workers last month urging them to give his firm permission to negotiate a deal with the city to divide up $1 billion in federal money available to settle their claims.

    Bern told 8,000 workers who blame their respiratory ailments on the time they spent working at Ground Zero that they might have to find another lawyer if they don't take a payout now. He warned that prolonging the case would rack up lawyer fees and expenses, siphoning off up to 40% of the payout.

    "You get your money now," he wrote. "Your litigation costs are much lower now than they would be if you took your case to trial."

    All that sounds familiar to Beverly Barker, a Henderson, Nev., woman who is among the millions who blamed their heart ailments on the use of the diet drug fen-phen.

    Barker, 58, was represented by Bern's then-firm, Napoli Kaiser Bern, after she and some 5,600 others opted out of a $3.75 billion settlement reached in 1999 with drug maker American Home Products. They joined Bern in criticizing an earlier payout as too low and filed lawsuits in Manhattan Supreme Court beginning in 1997.

    American Home Products offered to settle the Manhattan lawsuits for a lump sum as long as the law firm agreed to stop recruiting more clients, court papers allege. Estimates put the total payout in the hundreds of millions of dollars with Napoli Kaiser Bern taking a third for its work, court papers say.

    Barker said Bern traveled to Las Vegas, where he met her in a room at the Four Seasons Hotel and urged her to take a payout. She said she balked, claiming the money being offered was far less than the millions that Bern's firm had said she could get.

    She said Bern twice threw her out of the room when she turned down his offer and each time she returned he allegedly offered a little more cash.

    "I finally caved in but I probably shouldn't have," she said.

    Barker took an undisclosed settlement. But in 2001 she and two other fen-phen victims, William Buckwalter and Christine Dickey, filed a class action lawsuit in Manhattan Federal Court against Napoli Kaiser Bern, accusing the firm of breaching its fiduciary duty.

    The case was tossed out in 2005 by a judge who said they should have read the fine print on their attorney agreement. Any disputes between the lawyer and client must go before an arbitrator, not a federal judge.

    Barker's lawyers said dozens of others were treated to the same tactics in what they ruefully called the "Marc Bern Traveling Road Show."

    Typically, fen-phen victims were offered $10,000 and told if they didn't take it they would have to find another lawyer, the tossed lawsuit claims. And, it adds, they were told that if they didn't settle soon, American Home Products would go bankrupt.

    "The purpose of the scheme was to minimize the cost and effort on behalf of NKB and the individual defendants [Paul Napoli, Gerald Kaiser and Bern] and to maximize the profits to them," the lawsuit claims.

    Bern declined comment yesterday.

    Some Ground Zero workers who received the recent letter from Bern fear that if they don't sign up soon they'll lose out on money.

    "What they think is that if they don't sign on, they're looking at nothing," said Julie Hernandez, a board member of Unsung Heroes Helping Heroes, an advocacy group for 9/11 workers. "They look around and see Vietnam veterans suffering from Agent Orange who are still waiting.

    "They figure if they wait, they'll be dead."
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  7. #387
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    Medical Examiner, Differing on Ground Zero Case, Stands His Ground

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/25/ny...7af&ei=5087%0A


    Dr. Charles S. Hirsch, center, with Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly. Dr. Hirsch said a detective had died from ground up pills, not ground zero dust.

    By ANTHONY DePALMA
    Published: November 25, 2007

    No New Yorker is privy to as many secrets of the dead as Dr. Charles S. Hirsch. During nearly two decades as New York City’s chief medical examiner, he has quietly overseen autopsies on more than 100,000 people, hoping to learn something more about the way they lived, and why they died.

    After a long run marked by few major controversies, Dr. Hirsch, 70, now finds his objectivity and independence being questioned because of his review of a single autopsy — on the body of James Zadroga, 34, a New York City police detective who died in New Jersey last year. The Zadroga family had hoped he would agree with the Ocean County medical examiner’s finding that the detective’s death was linked to ground zero dust, which would add his name to the official list of victims of the 9/11 attack.

    But last month Dr. Hirsch shocked the Zadroga family and others with his conclusion, “with certainty beyond doubt,” that the material in Detective Zadroga’s lungs was not dust from the trade center but ground up pills he had injected into his veins.

    Dr. Hirsch, a tall, trim Midwesterner whose suspenders and pipe could make him a character on the TV show “C.S.I.,” is averse to publicity and has said nothing publicly about the case; in a brief telephone interview he declined to discuss details of his findings.

    “I have no interest in embarrassing those people or dragging this out,” he said. “I have absolute confidence in our opinion.”

    But the police union, members of Congress and others have raised doubts about his ability to make such a determination by himself. At the heart of their criticisms lies a single question: how could the same tissue samples, autopsy slides and medical records lead different forensic pathologists to radically different conclusions?

    Dr. Hirsch is well known across the country as a meticulous investigator and a scientist who measures his words carefully. But certainty is an elusive quality in science. Dr. Gregory J. Davis, a University of Kentucky professor who is chairman of the forensic pathology committee of the Congress of American Pathologists, said that “certainty beyond doubt” was not a phrase he had ever used.

    “But if Dr. Hirsch used it,” he said, “he must have had his reasons.”

    Dr. Hirsch said he had used that phrase in cases when the cause of death was so clear — say, from an accident — that there could be no possible doubt about the cause. “It doesn’t come up very often,” he said, “But in our own discussions in the office, it’s a routine thing.”

    Dr. Hirsch’s determinations about Detective Zadroga sharply conflicted not only with the conclusions drawn in the Ocean County autopsy but with the findings of other experts. A former New York City medical examiner, Dr. Michael M. Baden, examined the autopsy slides and said he was convinced that trade center dust had killed Detective Zadroga. The Police Pension Board in 2004 linked Mr. Zadroga’s illness to the dust when it approved a disability pension for him. And the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund concluded in 2004 that he had been harmed by the dust and gave him a substantial monetary award.


    Detective Zadroga was at ground zero in the weeks immediately after 9/11, though it is not clear exactly where he worked or how many hours he remained on the site. His medical records show that he was sickened by his work at ground zero.

    Dr. Hirsch’s findings about Detective Zadroga have generated controversy in part because many cases involving ground zero workers may have to be reviewed if the workers are to be included on the 9/11 victims list. The 9/11 victims’ fund gave more than 1,300 ground zero workers the same kind of injury award Detective Zadroga received, opening the door for future claims. Similarly, more than 175 police officers and 725 firefighters have received disability pensions for illnesses related to the trade center. And more than 20,000 workers have registered with the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board in case they become sick in the future.

    Several members of New York’s Congressional delegation said they did not think Dr. Hirsch should have the power to decide whether deaths were linked to 9/11. This month, they urged Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to create a panel of independent medical experts. But the mayor rejected the proposal, saying such decisions should be based on science, not politics.

    There is no national standard for determining a cause of death. Medical examiners and coroners set their own guidelines, and each relies on a combination of experience and interpretation to come to conclusions.

    A medical examiner’s job is a mix of detective work and scientific observation. In determining the cause of death in most routine autopsies, a pathologist offers his or her “best medical opinion.” In civil lawsuits or legal proceedings, the standard rises to “preponderance of evidence.” Experts said that a stricter standard — “with a reasonable degree of medical certainty” — is used in criminal investigations or trials. Dr. Hirsch’s certainty in his review of the Zadroga case is exceptional.

    “The general public likes to assume that pathology is an exact science and everything is objective,” said Dr. John Sinard, director of the Autopsy Service at Yale University School of Medicine. “The reality is that everything is subjective.”

    During 18 years as head of one of the country’s busiest medical examiner’s offices, Dr. Hirsch, who once served as a captain in the Air Force Medical Corps, has earned a reputation among forensic pathologists as a skilled practitioner and a respected teacher, having held faculty positions at N.Y.U.’s medical school and others. He has trained 16 of New York City’s 26 deputy medical examiners and dozens of the 500 medical examiners in the country.

    “He is a very conservative medical professional,” said Dr. Yvonne I. Milewski, the chief medical examiner of Suffolk County. “Nobody who knows him doubts his motives.”

    Dr. Thomas A. Andrew, chief medical examiner of the state of New Hampshire, studied with Dr. Hirsch at the University of Cincinnati in the early 1980s. He was so influenced by Dr. Hirsch’s “quiet dignity” that he chose to follow in his footsteps, he said, switching his focus from pediatrics to forensic pathology.

    “For me, he defines the word ‘mentor,’ ” Dr. Andrew said, “but I can’t tell you Word 1 about his private life, his social life or what makes him tick.”

    Dr. Hirsch was appointed chief medical examiner by Mayor Edward I. Koch, who had dismissed Dr. Hirsch’s two immediate predecessors, Dr. Baden and Dr. Elliot M. Gross, faulting their performance.

    Dr. Hirsch focused on managing the complex office instead of performing autopsies (he had already conducted 6,000 autopsies at other offices, and served as the Suffolk County medical examiner). Still, he said, he goes into the autopsy rooms every day, consults with his deputies, and is the final arbiter on all causes of death.

    But, experts say, what seems certain can turn out not to be. In early 1989, Dr. Hirsch ruled that a 25-year-old black man named Richard Luke died while in police custody as a result of cocaine intoxication. Friends who said they believed Mr. Luke had been brutalized by the police, said that Dr. Hirsch had unjustly exonerated the police, and hundreds took to the streets in protest. Months later, an inquiry by the State Commission of Correction’s two-member medical review panel, which included Dr. Baden, concluded that Mr. Luke had choked on his own vomit.

    Despite a lingering perception among some that the medical examiner’s office protects the police, there have been times when Dr. Hirsch’s rulings have put the department in a bad light. For example, in May 2003, Dr. Hirsch blamed the police for the death of a 57-year-old Harlem grandmother, Alberta Spruill, finding that the stress and fear of an early morning police raid had caused her fatal heart attack.

    Yet his review of the Zadroga autopsy could help the city defend itself against the suits brought by more than 8,000 ground zero workers who say they became ill after working at the trade center site, said Michael Palladino, president of the Detectives’ Endowment Association.

    The families of 9/11 victims have praised Dr. Hirsch for the sensitive way he has handled thousands of human remains that still have to be identified. But he was criticized by Mr. Palladino, among others, for being insensitive to the Zadroga family last month when he told them that he was certain that what looked like dust in the detective’s lungs was, based on a chemical analysis, actually talc and cellulose from ground up pills.

    According to interviews with several pathologists around the country, including Dr. Michael Graham, the chief medical examiner for the city of St. Louis and a specialist in heart and lung pathology, the combination of talc and cellulose in the lungs usually indicates drug abuse. Dr. Hirsch said the talc was found in the capillaries of the lungs, not in the air sacs, another tell-tale sign of intravenous drug use.

    Still, Dr. Graham said he would be reluctant to use Dr. Hirsch’s “certainty beyond doubt,” phrase.

    “Unless we’re talking about metaphysical certitude,” he said, “there is no such thing as absolute certainty.”
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  8. #388
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    NYS Responders Report 9/11-Related Health Problems, Study Says

    http://www.occupationalhazards.com/N...tudy_Says.aspx

    By Katherine Torres
    11/26/2007

    Despite arriving later and having less-intense exposure than first responders, New York state personnel who worked at the World Trade Center (WTC) site after the 9/11 attacks have increased rates of physical and mental health symptoms, reports a study in the November issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

    Led by Dr. Matthew P. Mauer of the New York State Department of Health, the researchers evaluated health effects in 1,423 state workers who responded to the WTC disaster. The majority of these workers were from the New York State Police, National Guard, or Department of Transportation.

    As a group, the state workers had less-intense exposure to conditions at Ground Zero than reported in previous studies of first responders, such as New York City police or firefighters. Still, two-thirds were working at the WTC site during the last two weeks of September 2001. In addition, 110 of the state workers were in the vicinity of the WTC before the attacks and were caught in the cloud of dust when the towers collapsed.

    When evaluated in 2002-2003, the state workers had elevated rates of physical and mental health symptoms. Nearly half had respiratory symptoms. The most common symptom, reported by 30 percent of workers, was a dry cough.

    Nearly one-third of the state workers had experienced new or worsening psychological symptoms since working at the WTC site. Symptoms most commonly included sleep problems, fatigue and irritability. Just three percent of affected workers received treatment for these symptoms.

    Both types of symptoms were more common among workers who were caught in the cloud of dust. This included specific psychological symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), such as feeling jumpy/easily startled, experiencing flashbacks and having difficulty concentrating or remembering things.

    Previous studies have reported various health effects in WTC first responders and community residents. The health evaluations among New York state workers provide an opportunity to evaluate the effects of later exposure to conditions at the disaster site.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  9. #389
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    NYC M.E. Rules Against Another 9/11 Responder
    PBA President Furious Over Ruling On James Godbee

    http://wcbstv.com/topstories/james.g....2.596025.html

    11/26/2007

    NEW YORK (CBS) ― There was outrage Monday night over another controversial ruling by New York City's Medical Examiner.

    Some say the ruling disrespects yet another first responder who worked on the debris pile at ground zero.

    The family and friends of police officer James Godbee are furious.

    "This is ridiculous, an outrage," said Patrolmen's Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch said.

    Lynch was speaking for many Monday in his fury at City Medical Examiner Charles Hirsch, who refuses to say a hero cop who died of lung disease after working for hundreds of hours at ground zero was a 9/11 homicide.

    The reason? Godbee started work on Sept. 13.

    "This medical examiner once again proves that he's looking at this from a litigation standpoint rather than a right and wrong standpoint," Lynch said.

    In a letter to Godbee's widow, Michelle, Hirsch wrote:

    "We must adhere to the principle that fatalities caused by work related or inhalation of dust … are classified as natural deaths."

    Lawyer Michael Barasch represents Det. James Zadroga, another 9/11 hero cop who died of lung disease. He says it doesn't make any difference once you started to breathe the toxic dust at ground zero

    "The building was burning for 99 days," Barasch said. "You were breathing the exact same air.

    Lynch and Barasch say Hirsch has too much power, and that a blue ribbon commission should be set up to review each ground zero first responder death. Mayor Michael Bloomberg disagrees.

    "This city is lucky as I said to have Dr. Hirsch," Bloomberg said. "He is scrupulously honest and has nothing to do with politics. Having a blue ribbon commission just says lets decide based on political reasons."

    A spokesman for the medical examiner refused to comment, saying that the letter speaks for itself.

    The mayor did praise officer Godbee, saying he was "exactly the kind of police officer you want in this city."

    He said the 9/11 Memorial Commission, which he chairs, should find a way to recognize 9/11 responders.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    Doctor's ruling angers family of city cop James Godbee

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2007..._city_cop.html

    BY RICH SCHAPIRO
    DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
    Monday, November 26th 2007, 4:00 AM

    Godbee's widow, Michelle Haskett-Godbee, with her two children looking over family picture albums.

    The city medical examiner has refused to even review the death of a city cop who toiled for hours at Ground Zero because the officer began working at the site Sept. 13 - a mere 48 hours after the towers fell.

    In a stunning decision that could set a precedent for ailing 9/11 responders and affected civilians, Dr. Charles Hirsch told the family of Officer James Godbee that because he was not at the site the day of the attacks, his cause of death would remain "natural."

    "All persons killed at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 and others who died later from complications of injuries or exposure directly caused by the collapse of the Twin Towers on that day are homicide victims," Hirsch wrote in a letter dated June 13.

    "However, P.O. Godbee first arrived at the World Trade Center site on September 13, 2001."

    Hirsch's perplexing determination has infuriated Godbee's family and put in doubt the likelihood of others being added to the official list of 9/11 victims.

    Godbee's widow, Michelle Haskett-Godbee, told the Daily News she wants to meet with the medical examiner.

    "Shame on him," she fumed. "I would like to know how he can justify the statement that because [my husband] wasn't there that day, it didn't affect him.

    "The medical examiner should be ashamed of himself for saying that. He's a doctor. He should know how the body works, how diseases progress."

    Hirsch's office did not respond to requests for comment.

    His silence left several questions unanswered.

    "If a person who inhaled the dust on 9/11 is deemed to be a homicide victim, then this person who inhaled the same dust caused by the same criminal act two days later has to be classified the same way," said Dr. Michael Baden, chief forensic pathologist for the New York State Police.

    "What is the cutoff?" Baden asked. "Is the cutoff 12:01 a.m. at 9/12? It's all the same stuff."

    James Godbee, 44, a 19-year veteran, died of a heart attack in December 2004 after he spent hundreds of hours amid the noxious fumes at Ground Zero, his relatives said.

    A city medical examiner ruled the heart attack was caused by sarcoidosis, an inflammatory disease that causes scarring of the lungs and other organs.

    Dr. Frank Accera, a pulmonary specialist at Beth Israel Medical Center, determined Godbee's exposure to the toxic dust at the Trade Center site "either caused or aggravated his sarcoidosis and ultimately caused his death."
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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