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Getting the Job Done – Speaker Paul Ryan Supports Extension of the 9/11 Zadroga Act

Speaker Paul Ryan Supports Zadroga Extension

Upon his election as Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan said that the Republicans in the House would now become the “proposition party”, not the “opposition party”.   He has now proven it.

This website previously asked the new Speaker to lead in supporting the James Zadroga 9/11 Act Extension bill.   In the wake of the Paris ISIS attacks, Speaker Ryan has come out in strong support of a  James Zadroga 9/11 Extension bill.  Thank you Speaker Ryan!

The Speaker stated that he expects that the House of Representatives can move the bill along by January 2016. This is great news for all with current and future 9/11 related cancer claims. It is also great news for all current 9/11 victims who have been already awarded benefits, but are actually awaiting their remaining 90% payout after October 2016.

There was substantial doubt whether the currently available funds in the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) would allow full payments of all awards or whether awards would have to be reduced on a pro-rated basis.

While the details of the bill that will eventually pass the House still need to be worked out (especially the funding mechanism and amount of funding), this is all good news.  As we approach Thanksgiving, all 9/11 first responders have something to be thankful for.

In addition, we should all thank the determined and indefatigable coalition in Congress and the responders who have consistently walked the halls in Washington, D.C. for this major breakthrough.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!



Senator Marco Rubio Announces Support for Zadroga Act Extension to Protect 9/11 Cancer Victims


On the heals of the Paris attacks by ISIS, top tier Republican candidate for President, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, announced yesterday that he will co-sponsor the James Zadroga Re-Authorization Act which will fully protect 9/11 cancer victims.  His support brings the number of Senators supporting re-authorization to 66.  Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina recently announced his support for Zadroga re-authorization, in addition Presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and George Pataki.  It is likely that the new support of Sen. Rubio will move the other Republican candidates for President to take a public position on the Zadroga re-authorization.

To date, Republican Presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, has not stated his position on re-authorization of the Zadroga Act.  Surprisingly, neither Gov. Chris Christie nor Donald Trump have indicated their support for the Zadroga Act re-authorization despite living close to the 9/11 disaster.  Jeb Bush has been silent on the issue despite his brother, former President George W. Bush, creating the original Victim Compensation Fund.

The Zadroga Act extension was also endorsed yesterday by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.  Despite the new support of Senator Rubio, who could well be our next President, House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) continues to prevent the full Zadroga Act re-authorization bill to come to the House floor for a vote as does House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

In light of the recent ISIS attacks in Paris, and the strong likelihood that the United States will need it’s first responders to selflessly rescue and recover more American victims in the future after future attacks similar to 9/11, the need to pass the Zadroga Act re-authorization is more urgent than ever.

Permanently renewing legislation to benefit Ground Zero first responders could be financed by closing a tax loophole. Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, perhaps the staunchest  supporter of the full and permanent re-authorization of the Zadroga Act in the Senate, announced yesterday that closing a tax loophole allowing foreign insurance companies to avoid paying taxes in the U.S. could fully fund the Zadroga re-authorization.  That is a win-win for American taxpayers and 9/11 first responders with cancer.

In the House of Representatives, New York  Republican Rep. Peter King and Democrat Rep. Jerry Nadler and Rep. Carolyn Maloney continue to be heroes in  pushing full re-authorization of the Zadroga Act.

The ISIS attacks in Paris last Friday were a game changer in how our country fights radical Islamic terrorism.  If the U.S. is attacked again in the near future, our first responders and volunteers need to know that our country will take care of any illnesses or injuries they suffer while they rescue innocent civilians.  In many ways, they are no different than our troops who have already fought (and continue to fight) in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.  All the Zadroga Act re-authorization does is give sick responders similar medical care and compensation like wounded warriors.

Medical care for 9/11 responders has already expired. It is time that the House and Senate work out any legislative differences and allow the Zadroga Act Extension bill to come to the vote on the floor.

Otherwise, we may not be prepared for another Paris.





Why are Congressional Leaders Turning Their Back on Marci Simms and the 9/11 Zadroga Act?

NYPD Lt Marci Simms Dies of 9_11 Lung Cancer

New York Police Department Lieutenant Macy Simms died last week of 9/11 related lung cancer. Rest in Peace Lt. Simms.

Thankfully, all of Lt. Simms’ medical care was covered under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010.  Last month the medical coverage portion of the Zadroga 9/11 Act expired, leaving current and future 9/11 cancer victims without medical coverage.

With either a wanton disregard or a shameful lack of human decency, House leaders failed to bring overwhelmingly bi-partisan bill to the floor for a vote which would extend medical care and compensation for all 9/11 heroes with cancer who were exposed to the deadly toxins at Ground Zero.

When he was recently elected Speaker of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan stated: “we [Republicans] need to move from being an opposition party to a proposition party”.

It was a very powerful statement  – and a promise that the American people should hold Speaker Ryan to in relation to the Zadroga Re-Authorization Act. 

Their are now 246 House co-sponsors and 64 Senate co-sponsors (both Republican and Democrat)  of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Re-authorization Act.   Both the House and the Senate are controlled by Republican majorities. This bill would make the Act permanent and fully funded, just like benefits for disabled veterans’.

So, I respectfully ask Speaker Ryan if he plans to support or oppose the current overwhelmingly bipartisan  James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Re-authorization Act bill?  Are the House Republicans an “opposition party or a proposition party” as he has promised?

The late Marci Simms and her fellow heroes need to know.

New House Speaker Paul Ryan Needs to Lead on Zadroga 9/11 Extension Bill

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Unfortunately for 9/11 cancer victims and their families, a few powerful House Committee Chairmen in Washington, DC are proposing to only temporarily extend  and under-fund the 9/11 James Zadroga Health and Compensation Act.  Specifically, they are proposing to extend the 9/11 Zadroga Act for only five years and cut funding up to 60%.  This  treatment of 9/11 heroes, who now have cancer or will in the future, is unconscionable.  Members of the New York Congressional delegation held a rally today at the 9/11 Memorial to oppose any  Republican gamesmanship which would result in insufficient funding for the 9/11 Zadroga Act Extension.  New House Speaker Paul Ryan must lead and support national heroes on this moral issue.

9/11 first responders are like military veterans who selflessly risked their lives while New York City and the Pentagon were under attack from radical Islamist terrorists. Just like military veterans who served on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, they should have lifelong permanent treatment and compensation for their injuries.  No true American would ever propose to defund our veterans’ hospitals or their disability compensation.  None other than distinguished Senator and former Republican Presidential candidate John McCain (R- Arizona) supports a permanent and fully funded extension of the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.

Our country now needs our new Speaker Paul Ryan to lead his fellow House leaders on this moral issue. Speaker Ryan is a practicing Catholic who many say takes Pope Francis as his “moral role model”. Pope Francis just prayed for all 9/11 victims at the 9/11 Memorial in New York City last month which I am sure moved Speaker Ryan.  Certainly, Speaker Ryan must concede that a permanent and fully funded Zadroga Act extension is a moral issue of social justice as opposed to a simple Washington, DC budget issue.

Our hero first responders  are dying of 9/11 related cancers every day.  Currently, a majority of the House of Representatives are co-sponsors of the permanent and fully funded Zadroga Act extension (241 to be exact).  Likewise, the Senate has a filibuster proof majority of 62 senators supporting a permanent extension. The recent insufficient temporary bills introduced in the House by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) should be non-starters on both majority principles and moral grounds.

Our new House Speaker Paul Ryan has the power persuade his House leadership to do the right thing on the 9/11 Zadroga Act extension. The rank and file are already on board.  He must reject newly introduced anti-majoritarian bills on this moral issue.

Pope Francis Prays for Victims and Responders at 9/11 Memorial in NYC


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Pope Francis will conduct an multi-faith prayer meeting at the 9/11 Memorial site in lower Manhattan tomorrow at 11:30 am. As he has done throughout his whirlwind trip to the Americas, he will bring healing and love to all who are still suffering the wounds of 9/11.

The Pope will also meet the families of victims and responders on the plaza and then pause himself to reflect.

Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, chaplain to the FDNY, said there is no more appropriate place for the Pope to visit and for clergy of different faiths to come together as one.

“Obviously those who sought to destroy us on 9/11 didn’t want us to practice our respective traditions, they wanted us not to be together, so we answer that horror by saying we are going to be one family,” said Potasnik, who will attend the meeting. “I think us being together with him offering a special blessing and a message will be a resounding response to what occurred on 9/11.”

“So here he [the Pope] comes now to Ground Zero and I’m sure he will once again strongly, strongly condemn those who somehow feel it is their mission, it is somehow part of their perverse ideology to destroy us.” 

As the Pope stated in Washington DC today:

“We know that Jesus wanted to show solidarity with every person. He wanted everyone to experience his companionship, his help and his love. He identified with all those who suffer, who weep, who suffer any kind of injustice.”

Thank you Francis.

We Shall Never Forget 9/11. Now – Remember and Protect the Heroes


Fourteen years ago today, the United States was attacked on our soil by radical Islamic terrorists resulting in the deaths of almost 3000 innocent Americans. We will never forget the victims of this monstous crime and their families.

Since that tragic day, many first responders and others who bravely answered the call of duty have either died or have become seriously ill as a result of exposure to the toxins at Ground Zero.  

Now, 14 years after the attack, first responders live in all 50 states making their health care a national issue. Many have 9/11 related cancers which require extraordinary and expensive medical care. Today, these heroes are about to lose the federal health care benefits they continue to need both now and in the future.  See this great article by AP reporter David Caruso explaining the problem.

Many of us are now fighting to have Congress Extend the James Zadroga Act of 2010 which provides these benefits.  While we all remember 9/11 and mourn the loss of loved ones in our own way, we at Turley Hansen & Partners ask that, no matter where you live, that you click on this link to ask your Congressman to support future health benefits for the hero first responders of 9/11.  It will only take a minute, but it may save a 9/11 hero’s life.

Thank you and God Bless the United States of America.


ALERT: October 21, 2015 is the 9/11 Prostate Cancer Victim Compensation Fund Registration Deadline!

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If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, you may still have time to file for benefits from the 9/11 Zadroga Act Victim Compensation Fund.

If you are a first responder or resident of the WTC “crash site” area (including Fresh Kills and the Morgue) and have been diagnosed with prostate cancer on or before October 21, 2013, you must register with the 9/11 Zadroga Act Victim Compensation Fund no later than October 21, 2015.  It bares repeating – you must register no later than 10/21/15. That is a little more than one month away!  

If you are eligible for the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund and have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, please register today.  If you worked or lived in or around the WTC crash site, we stongly urge you to get tested for prostate cancer if you have not already done so.   

For those diagnosed with prostate cancer after October 21, 2013, you must register within two (2) years of the date of diagnosis, but no later than October 3, 2016.  

If you have questions or concerns about prostate cancer and your eligibility for benefits under the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, please contact us today at 1-855-WTC-INFO.  You can also use our Chat or Contact forms on this site. 

Have a Happy and Healthy Labor Day!

3,700 Ground Zero Responders and Others Around USA Have 9/11 Linked Cancers

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Those afflicted with 9/11-related cancers has hit the staggering number of 3,700. This number includes New York Fire Department members, New York policemen, other Ground Zero responders and downtown workers and residents who survived the tragic bombing. Many of these victims of 9/11 have more than one type of cancer. Dr. David Prezant, chief medical officer of the New York Fire Department says more than 2,100 firefighters and EMS personnel have retired on disability, primarily with various types of cancer and lung disease. Forty-four New York Fire Department responders died from cancer related to 9/11, while another 65 died from other World Trade Center-linked illnesses.


Blood cancers as well as thyroid, prostate and colon cancers have been more prevalent among the New York Fire Department members who were first responders during 9/11 than those Fire Department members who were not. As an example, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma struck the Deputy Chief of the FDNY, Thomas Riley, and later formed a tumor behind Riley’s right eye. Riley was on vacation when the 9/11 bombing occurred. He rushed back to New York, leading his troops to Ground Zero. Riley says he and his crew dug for survivors until 3:00 a.m., returning every day for months to search for remains. Riley notes that debris was flying into the eyes of the first responders every day they worked in the area.


Last fall, Riley began experiencing bouts of fatigue, and in December 2014, friends noticed his right eye was drooping. Riley’s doctor diagnosed a lymphatic orbital mass. Radiation has shrunk the tumor, however Riley’s eyes have been left vulnerable to wind, dust and bright light and must use eye drops to deal with the pain. Riley has joined other responders and victims to lobby Congress in an effort to extend the 9/11 Victim’s Compensation Fund which will ensure those affected by 9/11 will receive necessary medical treatment for 9/11-related illnesses.


Lives Continue to Be Claimed by 9/11

In fact, nearly fourteen years after one of the most shocking, heartbreaking events in American History, lives are still being claimed by 9/11. According to Health Watch, 30,000 first responders developed an injury or illness which could be directly linked to 9/11.  Nearly nine years after the World Trade Center Bombing, legislation was passed to help these first responders, and later that legislation was re-booted, thanks to the Zadroga Act. Unfortunately, there are still many 9/11 cases pending, and the fund which compensates victims of 9/11 is set to run out of money in 2016. Congress must take action in order to ensure those who suffered 9/11-related illnesses will be compensated rather than leaving them with disabling diseases and illnesses.

How Many 9/11 Victims May Not Be Compensated?

Out of the 19,721 submissions from injured first responders and survivors, 11,770 have been deemed eligible for compensation, 942 have been deemed ineligible, and the remainder have not had a determination made regarding eligibility. Some research indicates the incidence of cancer among survivors and first responders of the 9/11 bombing attack is more than twice as high as among other Americans.


One study examined the health records of 10,000 first responder NY firefighters, finding they were 19 percent more likely to develop cancer than those who were not present at the World Trade Center bombing site. Exposure to the dust, debris and chemicals at the site vastly increased the likelihood of cancer; Dr. Prezant notes the cement dust at Ground Zero had a pH between 10 and 11, meaning it was akin to “inhaling powdered Drano.” It is expected there will be more and more 9/11-related illnesses as time passes, and it is extremely important there is money available to take care of those who develop these illnesses.


We all have a duty to make sure that the sick heroes of 9/11, especially those with 9/11 cancers, have professional legal representation and that this sordid mess does not hurt the ongoing valiant efforts to Extend the 9/11 James Zadroga Act.


Please help us tell Congress that we need the 9/11 Zadroga Act extended by clicking here. Thank you. 

Senator Gillibrand Stands Beside 9/11 First Responders to Support Zadroga Act Renewal


Senator Kirsten Gillibrand stood beside first responders, as well as elected officials and physicians, on Staten Island, in order to call attention to the importance of renewing the James L. Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. Since the passage of the Zadroga Act in 2010, first responders have been able to receive free treatment for 9/11-related illnesses at the Mount Sinai WTC Health Program Clinical Center. Unfortunately, portions of the Act are set to expire in the fall of 2015, and in 2016. The Citizens for the Extension of the Zadroga Act feel the Victims’ Compensation Fund was insufficiently funded in order to allow all those left with 9/11-related injuries and illnesses to be adequately compensated. In light of the money left, if the Zadroga Act is not reauthorized, there could be thousands of victims left with disabling diseases and illnesses. These diseases and illnesses could result in an inability to work as well as staggering medical bills.


Cancers Associated with 9/11

Joseph Weibel, a New York City police sergeant who worked at Ground Zero, finally went to a doctor after losing 59 pounds in four months, and coughing up blood. Like many others, Weibel received a diagnosis of cancer as a consequence of inhaling the toxic dust and fumes which rained down on the city of New York after 9/11. The medical bills for these victims of the World Trade Center bombing can easily reach $20,000 a month, and prevent them from working. In the years since 9/11, as many as 3,700 individual cases of cancer have been linked to the World Trade Center bombing. From 2001 to 2008, the rates of cancer for first responders were 15 percent higher than those for the general public, and some research shows there is double the risk of cancer for 9/11 responders.


Thyroid, prostate, soft tissue and lymphoid cancers were especially prevalent. Until 2012, the laws which provided compensation for 9/11 first responders and survivors did not cover the monitoring and treatment of cancer, however today it specifies more than 50 types of cancer. Many experts were aware first responders at Ground Zero were developing cancers at a much higher rates than others even before the federal law was amended. Chief medical officer of the New York Fire Department, Dr. David Prezant, stated the site was highly toxic, and that the cement dust had a pH between 10 and 11, meaning it was “inhaled like powdered Drano”. A retired fire captain with lung disease and pancreatic cancer was awarded $1.5 million from the Victims’ Compensation Fund; he will receive 10 percent now, and the remainder in 2016. The fire captain said he hopes cases like his, “where we’re not expected to last long,” are rushed.


Gillibrand Notes a “Lack of Urgency” in Washington

Gillibrand notes there is a “lack of urgency,” in Washington regarding the fact that if the Zadroga Act is not reauthorized, thousands of those with 9/11-related illnesses and injuries will be left with no financial help and health care. Gillibrand says first responders answered the call of duty when our nation was under attack, and now deserve to be treated as heroes by Congress.


Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association believes the United States owes those who participated in 9/11 rescue and recovery efforts. In a heartrending statement, Lynch notes “As people streamed north, there was a confident stride in police officers and first responders pushing through the crowd, going toward the towers, not stopping, helping along the way. And then those same men and women…struggle to get up the stairs because they need the treatment.”  If the Zadroga Act is not reauthorized, more people will die as they are unable to receive medical treatment.


Turley Hansen & Partners would like you to join us in supporting the renewal of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. Should you have any questions about the Citizens for the Extension of the James Zadroga Act  or World Trade Center Health Program and the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, please feel free to call, click the chat button or contact us at the top of this page.


The End of Napoli Bern: 9/11 Client Rights and Ethics

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As reported in yesterday’s New York Law Journal, the 9/11 law firm of Napoli Bern will now start “winding down” (coming to an end) under the supervision of referee and distinguished attorney Mark Zauderer.  This ends a sad chapter for hero first responders who watched this 9/11 law firm publicly disintegrate with sordid tales splashed across the pages of the New York Post

  • What happens now to the current 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund clients of Napoli Bern?
  • What are their rights if they choose to switch attorneys at this point?

As I previously predicted, many of their current clients have already left for other responsible 9/11 law firms during the course of this bitter feud.  They were obviously scared that their legitimate 9/11 VCF claims would  be hurt or delayed due to this law firm dispute.  The details of the partnership settlement yesterday are not public, so no one knows which partners, if any, will be taking over Napoli Berns’s current client cases.

There will be many thorny ethical issues to be worked out regarding the “winding down” of Napoli Bern. Napoli Bern, or the remaining lawyers and/or referee, will now have to decide how to communicate to existing 9/11 VCF clients if the firm is dissolving in the “winding down process. 

Four important issues must be remembered:

  1. Attorneys have a duty to tell “their” clients that the firm is dissolving; and 
  2. Clients are not property –  a lawyer cannot decide which clients stay with one attorney or another – the clients decide.
  3. Attorneys must keep clients informed so that clients may make informed decisions about what the client wants to do regarding future representation;
  4. The client always has the right to obtain their file should they wish to bring their case to another law firm.  

We all have a duty to make sure that the sick heroes of 9/11, especially those with 9/11 cancers, have professional legal representation and that this sordid mess does not hurt the ongoing valiant efforts to Extend the 9/11 James Zadroga Act.

Please help us tell Congress that we need the 9/11 Zadroga Act extended by clicking here. Thank you.