World Trade Center Settlement Gets Backing Needed to Take Effect
– New York Law Journal
(November 22, 2010) Enough plaintiffs have accepted a massive settlement of claims alleging respiratory and other health problems from the post-9/11 response and cleanup at the World Trade Center site to seal the deal. Read more…
10,563 Ground Zero 9/11 Workers Agree On $625 Million Settlement
– Medical News Today
(November 21, 2010) 10,563 ground zero workers who inhaled toxic dust and risked health consequences have agreed on a $625 settlement and ceased suing - the amount could go as high as $815 million.
9/11 Health Deal Gets OK
– The Wall Street Journal
(November 20, 2010) More than 95% of Ground Zero workers agreed to accept a settlement of long-running litigation over respiratory diseases and other injuries suffered in recovery operations following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack.
Deal settles most lawsuits over WTC toxic dust
– The Associated Press (AP)
(November 19, 2010) A deal reached by New York City and workers exposed to toxic dust that blanketed ground zero after Sept. 11 will resolve an overwhelming majority of the lawsuits over the city's failure to provide protective equipment to the responders. Read more…
Ground Zero workers exposed to toxic dust take pay deal
(November 19, 2010) Thousands of workers exposed to toxic dust after the 2001 terror attacks in New York have accepted a legal settlement and ceased litigation. Read more…
Lawyers: Sickened 9/11 Workers Reach Settlement Deal With City
(November 19, 2010) By Friday, more than 10,000 people who became ill from working conditions at the World Trade Center site following the September 11th terrorist attacks had accepted a settlement deal with the city. Read more…
According to a three year study conducted by the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, 70% of the rescue workers at Ground Zero and the Staten Island Landfill have developed lung disorders or some other type of respiratory illness following their exposure to cement, glass and toxins as they rummaged through the WTC rubble looking for survivors. These and other health problems continue to show up in the firefighters, construction workers and police officers that worked as part of the rescue attempts and cleanup efforts that took place after the 9/11 attacks.
Andrew Porazzo of Staten Island was one of those workers. He worked as an electrician amongst the rubble of the WTC towers helping to build a temporary city for workers that were sifting through the remains. He remembers that day very clearly. Porazzo checked his daughter and teenage son out of school and then reported to Ground Zero as a volunteer. He was assigned to the Staten Island Landfill where he worked on the temporary city. At this location, workers sifted through the WTC debris looking for any and all possible evidence and even body parts.
Porazzo remembers the trucks and barges that were continually dumping loads of debris to be examined. He describes the air that he worked in as sparkling with tiny particles floating in the air throughout the entire time of his assignment. His working environment amidst the dust and toxins created a problems for his lungs. Little did he know that these particles in the air contained pulverized concrete, asbestos and tiny slivers of glass. There were some individuals that were walking around with protective gear, but Porazzo recalls that the people who were actually working in the dust were not offered any type of mask or breathing protection. His lungs are now scarred from the damage that these toxins did when they were breathed in. In addition, he depends upon medication that costs about $200 a month to assist him with his breathing. Porazzo has never had to be on medication before 9/11 and because of this he is now unable to work.
After working at Staten Island for about a month, he was unable to continue because of symptoms he was developing. Porazzo begin suffering from sore throat, lung spasms, shortness of breath, watery eyes and acid reflux. Shortly thereafter, he also began suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Porazzo feels lucky to have good health insurance and worker’s compensation but his income was at one time double what it is now and this makes things difficult at times.
Porazzo visits the doctor every week, sometimes twice a week and this involves a two hour round trip to receive regular medical treatment. Despite the difficulties and challenges that he deals with even years later, he does not regret working as a volunteer for the 9/11 attacks. His feelings of patriotism for this endeavor will never be forgotten.
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