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New 9/11 Victim Lawsuit Filed under JASTA

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As  reported in the NY Daily News, a new 28 page 9/11 victim lawsuit was filed on March 17th, 2017 in federal court against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, also known as JASTA.

Specifically, the families of 9/11 victims allege that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia:

  • knowingly providing material support and resources to the al Qaeda terrorist organization and facilitating the September 11th Attacks,

  • raised, laundered and paid substantial financial support to al Qaeda to fund its budget and terrorist activities, including the preparation and execution of the September llth Attacks;

  • funded the terrorist training camps in Afghanistan where al Qaeda indoctrinated and taught their hijackers the skills they used to carry out the September llth Attacks;

  • provided critical logistical support and resources to al Qaeda around the world, funding safe houses, furnishing false passport and travel documents, transferring al Qaeda money, weapons and equipment across international borders and other assistance, all of which enabled al Qaeda to conduct the September 11th Attacks;

  • actively supported al Qaeda in its final preparations for the September 11th Attacks through a network of the Kingdom’s officers, employees and/or agents who met with and aided the hijackers, providing them with money, cover, advice, contacts, transportation, assistance with language and U.S. culture, identification, access to pilot training and other material support and resources.

  • For years prior to and on September 11, 2001, Saudi Arabia established, owned, operated and controlled a series of state-run “charity” organizations, namely:

    • the Muslim World League (MWL),

    • the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO), • the Rabita Trust,

    • the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY),

    • the Benevolence International Foundation (BIF),

    • the al Haramain Islamic Foundation (AHIF),

    • the Saudi High Commission for Relief of Bosnia and Herzegovina (SHC),

    • the Saudi Joint Relief Committee for Kosovo and Albania (SJRC), and

    • the Saudi Red Crescent (SRC),

  • these  Saudi “charity” organizations:

    •  (i) were so closely related to Saudi Arabia that they must be considered as part of Saudi Arabia, and/or;

    • (ii) were government agents of Saudi Arabia and/or;

(iii) were alter-egos of Saudi Arabia, because Saudi Arabia: established, controlled, operated and regulated each organization through its King, Council of Ministers, the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, the Council of Senior Ulema, Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, other Ministries and bodies and Saudi Arabia’s Embassies throughout the world; maintained significant, repeated and extensive control of the day-to-day operations of each organization; provided each organization with virtually all of its funding and determined how its funds were distributed; established guidelines, plans and policies that each organization was required to follow; appointed Saudi Arabia officials and employees to the lead positions within each organization; staffed each organization with Saudi Arabia’s officials and employees; hired, fired and directed each organization’s officers and employees; required each organization to obtain its approval for ordinary business decisions, including purchases, the locations of its operations and offices, banking, budgeting and grant decisions; used each organization’s personnel and property as its own; ignored the separate legal status, if any, of each organization; treated each organization as a part of Saudi Arabia; used each organization to perform its core governmental functions, including foreign affairs and the advancement of Saudi Arabia’s state religion of Wahhabism throughout the world; and operated, controlled and used each organization in such a manner that it would work a fraud or injustice to regard the organization as a legal entity separate from Saudi Arabia.

  • Saudi Arabia adopted an extremist version of Islam, Wahhabism, as the state religion; declared that its propagation was a core function of the state; and, sought to advance it around the world through Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Embassies, Saudi Arabia’s charity organizations and other government agents.

  • Saudi Arabia knew from at least the early 1990s that al Qaeda had begun to pursue and carry out terrorist attacks against the United States, and used Wahhabism to justify its campaign of anti-American violence, but Saudi Arabia’s charitable organizations and Saudi Arabia’s officials, employees and agents continued to provide material support and resources for al Qaeda through and including September 11, 2001.

  • From 1988 to 1990, Saudi Arabia knew that Osama Bin Laden made public speeches at his family’s mosque in Jeddah and other locations in Saudi Arabia where he declared that the United States was the primary target of al Qaeda; as an example, in 1990 he stated that:

    “The Americans won’t stop their support of Jews in Palestine until we give them a lot of blows. They won’t stop until we do jihad against them.”

  • For years prior to September 11, 2001, as further detailed herein, Saudi Arabia had a relationship and communications with Osama Bin Laden and al Qaeda’s operatives, associates and activities throughout the world.

  • For at least a decade prior to and on September 11, 2001, as detailed herein, Saudi Arabia knew that numerous officials, employees and agents of Saudi Arabia were al Qaeda operatives or sympathizers who actively supported al Qaeda’s terrorist agenda against the United States.

  • For years prior to and including September 11, 2001, Saudi Arabia’s passport offices and authorities applied a secret marker/indicator to the passports of persons who had known ties to al Qaeda, and this marker/indicator was found in the passports of at least three of the 19 hijackers responsible for the September 11th Attacks, including Nawaf al Hazmi and Khalid al Mihdhar, and others who assisted them, including Omar al Bayoumi, a Saudi Arabia employee and agent who aided the hijackers in 2000-2001 in California, as detailed herein, and information about this marker/indicator was not known by United States consular officers, immigration or law enforcement agencies.

  • For at least a decade prior to and on September 11, 2001, as detailed herein, Saudi Arabia had knowledge of the violent goals of al Qaeda and its leader Osama Bin Laden to wage terrorist attacks against the United States and its citizens and that al Qaeda had engaged in numerous terrorist attacks and attempted attacks against United States targets.

  • For at least a decade prior to and on September 11, 2001, support for al Qaeda’s terrorist agenda against the United States was pervasive among officials and employees of Saudi Arabia, and Saudi Arabia was duplicitous: it presented a public face to the United States and other Western countries of a nation fighting al Qaeda and terrorism while at the same time,  Saudi government actors gave al Qaeda substantial material support and resources.

  • For many years prior to and on September 11, 2001, Saudi Arabia knew of many attempts by al Qaeda to conduct terrorist attacks directed against the United States, including the December 1992 attempt by al Qaeda to attack the United States by bombing two hotels in Sanaa, Yemen where al Qaeda thought U.S. military personnel were staying.

  • On or shortly after February 26, 1993, Saudi Arabia knew that terrorists affiliated with al Qaeda exploded a truck bomb in the parking garage of the World Trade Center in New York City, with the intent to topple one of the towers into the other, resulting in 6 deaths and over 1,000 injuries.

  • In or about October 1993, Saudi Arabia knew that al Qaeda was involved in the attack on U.S. military forces in Somalia that resulted in 18 deaths and numerous injuries to U.S. soldiers.

There are more disturbing allegations in this long legal complaint. We are not publishing the actual legal complaint so as to protect the names of victims and their families.  If you would like a copy of the public document, you may call us at 631-518-6155.  It is disturbing reading.

Saudi Arabia continues to spend millions of dollars on lobbyists in Washington, DC to influence members of Congress to repeal or amend the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, also known as JASTA.  It would be a travesty of justice for Congress and the President  to allow this to happen.

If you have questions about your eligibility to join the new 2017 9/11 JASTA lawsuit, please call one of the Turley Hansen 9/11 JASTA lawyers at 1-855-WTC-INFO (1-855-982-4636).

 

Turley Hansen Obtains $2.98 Million 9/11 Fund “Group B Claim” Award – Largest “Group B” Award to Date

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September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Special Master Rupa Bhattacharyya released the 5th Annual Status Report along with updated statistics. Click here to see the full March 2017 9/11 Victim Fund report.

The 2017  9/11 Status Report indicates that the highest 9/11 Award amount for “Group B” claims through 12/31/2016 was $2,980,984.94.  Of the 2,424 “Group B” compensation determinations made, Turley Hansen can confirm that this award was made to one of our very ill and deserving 9/11 clients. (see page 13 of the 2017 VCF Status Report).

Other important highlights from the 34 page report include:

  • Of the 2,424 Group B claims that have had determinations made – 1,876 have been for responders (FDNY, NYPD, FBI, FEMA, EMT, MTA, volunteers and others), 402 have been non-responders (ironworkers, crane operators, laborers, Verizon workers, Con Ed workers, cleaning workers, maintenance workers, truckers, sanitation workers and more)  and 55 have been injured residents of downtown Manhattan.
  • The vast majority of VCF registered 9/11 victims presently reside in New York State, followed by New Jersey, Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Connecticut and Virginia, respectively.
  • The new 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Special Master, Rupa Bhattacharyya, has increased staff significantly in both the Washington, DC and New York City offices in order to reduce compensation award processing times.
  • Jordana (“Jordy”) H. Feldman was named a Deputy Special Master of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (“VCF”) in the New York City office. From 2002 to 2004, Ms. Feldman served in the first VCF (“VCF -1”) as a key advisor to Special Master Ken Feinberg and adjudicated eligibility and compensation claims, presided over hearings with victims’ families, and assisted in the development of policies and procedures. She also co-authored the Final Report of the Special Master for the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001.
  • Appeals of 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund decisions and awards have increased dramatically  since 2015. There has been a 230% increase in “eligibility” and “compensation” hearings since 2015. There are now 10 hearing officers and support team members in the New York City office.

The 9/11 attorneys and staff at Turley Hansen and Partners commend Special Master Rupa Bhattacharyya and her staff for their dedication to the 9/11 Responder and Survivor community. With the passage of the 9/11 Reauthorization law in late 2015, the work required both writing new regulations and improving the claim process infrastructure was a monumental task in 2016 for the VCF team. 

We are glad to report that the 2017 September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Status Report indicates that the state of the 9/11 Fund is strong.

Controversial 9/11 Lawyer Paul Napoli Recruits Clients for JASTA Lawsuits

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Controversial 9/11 lawyer Paul J. Napoli, now Of Counsel to the law firm of Napoli Shkolnik, PLLC, sent out a letter this week to 9/11 victims requesting them to sign a “JASTA (Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act) Consent Form”.

Many of my current clients received this audacious, self-congratulatory and confusing letter and called me to explain what it was all about.

See the 9/11 Napoli JASTA letter here.

My 9/11 clients never contacted Mr. Napoli about representation in a JASTA lawsuit or desired his representation.  See another newspaper article here on Mr. Napoli recruiting 9/11 clients for JASTA lawsuits last Fall.  I told them to toss the letter exactly where it deserved to go – the garbage. 

By the way, Mr. Napoli misspells the name of the actual law itself at least three times in his letter!  What does that tell you.

The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) gives victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks the right to sue in the United States courts the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for any role that the Saudi government may have played in the attacks.  15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals and 9/11 victim families claim members of the Saudi government and its embassy assisted the hijackers.

No matter who your current 9/11 attorney may be – you should be aware of the following before you sign any “JASTA Consent Form” from Paul Napoli.

  • You may retain the 9/11 JASTA attorney of your choice. Even if Mr. Napoli or his firm represented you in an old 9/11 related litigation, you are under no continuing obligation to use his legal services in the future for any 9/11 related matter.
  • If you have received a letter from Mr. Napoli like this and do not want to be involved in any 9/11 lawsuit against Saudi Arabia, toss Mr. Napoli’s letter and “JASTA Consent Form” in the garbage (or better your shredder).
  • Currently, no 9/11 attorney can tell you with any certainty whether a future  lawsuit will be successful. In fact, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is currently spending millions of dollars in Washington, DC to block the law.

If you have any questions for our lawyers about the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) call us at 1-855-WTC-INFO (1-855-982-4636).

9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Filing Deadlines: What You Need to Know

On September 15, 2016, the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) extended deadlines to file claims for compensation. The new  VCF deadlines substantially benefit many victims who were previously told that they had missed filing or registration deadlines.

Anyone who was previously told by any source that they missed a filing deadline should call our office today at 1-855-WTC-INFO (1-855-982-4636) to see if they can now file under the new deadlines.

9/11 victims now have up to two years to register a claim with the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund from the date a government entity (such as the World Trade Center Health Program or the New York Workers’ Compensation Board) certifies a diagnosis (such as cancer) as being 9/11 related.  At the 9/11 law firm of Turley Hansen, we work closely with the World Trade Center Health Program to make sure our clients are properly “certified” so the do not miss any registration or filing deadlines.

For example, let’s say you were diagnosed by your private physician with prostate cancer on February 1, 2017.  You call our office and we help you enroll in the World Trade Center Health Program (a government entity).   The WTC Health Program certifies that your prostate cancer is 9/11 related on March 1, 2017.  This is your “Registration Start Date”. You have until March 1, 2019 (two years later) to register your claim with the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. Other governmental entities that can start the registration VCF deadline include employers such as the FDNY, NYPD, or NYCERS for purposes of awarding a disability pension.

For individuals not being treated through the WTC Health Program, the Registration Start Date is the earlier of: (1) the date on which a government entity determined that the physical injury or condition was 9/11-related, or (2) the date on which the individual’s physical injury or condition is verified through the VCF’s Private Physician process.  Call us to discuss “certification” under the VCF’s Private Physician process.

For families of loved ones who passed due to what they believe was a 9/11 related illness, they must register within two years of the victims death. In the case of new-onset 9/11 related Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), if the victim died on or before August 4, 2016, the family would have until August 4, 2018 to register.

See the official 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Registration and Deadline chart here.

Important: Regardless of the date of your 9/11 condition “certification”, all 9/11 claims and supporting documents must be filed by December 18, 2020.  For example, if you are diagnosed with colon cancer on November 1, 2020, you need to have your cancer “certified” as 9/11 related and all your full claim filed in just over six weeks. Call us at 1-855-WTC-INFO (1-855-982-4636) with any VCF deadline questions you might have.

 

9/11 Lung Cancer Claims and WTC Victim Compensation Fund

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Lung cancers are, unfortunately, yet another common cancer seen in claims before the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.  Extended exposure to toxins such as asbestos and dioxins left many 9/11 first responders, clean-up workers and those who lived or worked in the area, fighting a courageous battle with lung cancer.

Downtown Manhattan residents and downtown workers below Canal Street are also eligible for compensation and health benefits under the 9/11 Zadroga Act. First responders were not the only victims—New York State accountant, Jerry Borg, who worked in a building blocks away from the Twin Towers, died in December, 2010 of an inflammatory disease of the lungs. Borg was ruled the 2,753rd victim of 9/11, following his death.

In addition, the large amount of asbestos at Ground Zero after the WTC attacks has led to an increase in mesothelioma cancer claims before the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.  In fact, in the dust samples collected by the EPA in the first week following 9/11, a full one-quarter showed asbestos at levels indicating a significant risk. For detailed studies about the amount of toxins found in the 9/11 dust, see Dr. Paul . J. Lioy’s seminal book about the toxins in the 9/11 dust,  “Dust”, published in 2010.

Also inside the two towers were heavy metals such as lead, polychlorinated biphenyls used in electrical transformers, and glass fibers which lodged in the lungs of many in the area. Further, the levels of dioxin measured in the air near the World Trade Center were the “highest ambient measurements of dioxin ever recorded” in the world—at least 100 times higher than those found downwind of a garbage incinerator.  The “9/11 cough” that so many suffered from, was largely due to the drywall and cement which showered down on Lower Manhattan. First responders, rescue workers and those cleaning up the areas were literally bathed in the toxic dust.

Unfortunately, respirators were either not used at all, or were often used incorrectly—many did not wear the respirators because they found it very difficult to communicate with the bulky face mask in place. Ground Zero smoldered until December 19th, releasing harmful, toxic fumes. As a result, 9/11 lung cancer and mesothelioma cases are likely to increase in the future.

Seventy different types of cancers are covered under the 9/11 Zadroga Act for medical care under the World Trade Center Health Program, as well as for victim compensation under the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.

Recognizing Lung/Bronchus Cancer

It stands to reason that the first responders and others covered under the 9/11 Zadroga Act who spent time breathing toxic fumes following 9/11 could end up with lung and bronchial problems. In 2016, across the nation, there were 224,390 new cases of lung cancer, making up about 13.3 percent of all new cancer cases. Worse, there were 158,080 deaths from lung cancer in 2016, representing 26.5 percent of the total deaths from cancer. Setting aside direct exposure to lung toxins, about 6.5 percent of adults in the United States will be diagnosed with lung and bronchus cancer at some point in their lifetime.

Symptoms associated with lung cancer include:

·         A persistent cough;

·         Coughing up blood;

·         Shortness of breath;

·         Unexplained weight loss;

·         Difficulty swallowing;

·         Fatigue;

·         Hoarseness;

·         Loss of appetite, and

·         Weakness.

Diagnosing Lung/Bronchus Cancer

A doctor will use a stethoscope to listen to a patient’s lungs, with a goal of determining whether there is fluid around the lungs. Other tests a doctor may use to diagnose lung or bronchus cancer include a sputum test, a biopsy, imaging tests such as PET scans, CT scans, MRI’s and X-rays, a bronchoscopy, which allows the doctors to see abnormal areas of the lungs, and/or a mediastinoscopy, in which a lighted tub is inserted through a small incision in the center of the chest cavity to view the lungs.

9/11 first responders, downtown workers and downtown residents diagnosed with lung cancer should call our office to discuss the benefits of getting their  condition certified as 9/11 related by the World Trade Center Health Program.

Read here for more information on the World Trade Center Health Program.

The Stages of 9/11 Related Lung Cancers

If a doctor diagnoses his or her patient with lung cancer, the next step will be to determine whether the malignancy has spread beyond the lungs. It is most common for lung cancer to metastasize to the liver, brain and bones.

  • Stage 1 lung cancer is limited to the lungs, and has not spread. At this stage, the lung cancer is generally smaller than two inches.
  • Stage 2 lung cancer tumor may be larger than 2 inches and may involve nearby structures, including the lining of the lungs, the lymph nodes and the diaphragm.
  • Stage 3 lung cancer tumor may be fairly large, and involve other vital organs which are near the lungs.
  • Stage 4 lung cancer tumors have spread beyond the lung to distant areas of the body. Treatment will depend on the overall health of the patient, the patient’s age, the type and stage of the cancer and whether the cancer has spread. Surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, immunotherapy and other targeted cancer drugs are used to treat lung cancer.

General Outlook for Patients with Lung Cancer

Those diagnosed with stage 1 lung cancer have a 58-73 percent five-year survival rate. Those diagnosed with stage 2 lung cancer have a 36-46 percent five-year survival rate, while those with stage 3 lung cancer have a 19-24 percent five-year survival rate. Finally, those diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer have only a 2-13 percent five-year survival rate.

The World Trade Center Health Program Clinical Centers of Excellence treat all 9/11-related cancers, including lung cancer. The attorneys at Turley Hansen have represented many clients with lung cancer or mesothelioma related to the 9/11 toxic dust fumes. If you have questions regarding your medical care or about an award for lung cancer from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, please call Turley Hansen, LLP at 1-855-WTC-INFO (1-855-982-4636).

9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Heroes Scammed by RD Legal Funding?

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According to a recent attention grabbing article in the New York Daily News, the NY State Attorney General has now accused RD Legal Funding, a New Jersey lending company, of scamming 9/11 victims suffering from cancer. See my prior blog post here on press reports and litigation when RD Legal Funding had the audacity to sue a 9/11 victim for one of their outrageously expensive loans. Victims who are waiting for their 911 Victim Compensation Fund award should be treated better!

It is alleged by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman that RD Legal Funding scammed 9/11 victims out of millions, by “luring” them into taking out illegal loans with interest rates as high as 250 percent! See a copy of the Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s complaint here.  The Attorney General deserves accolades for attempting to protect our 9/11 heroes from this shameful scam.

RD Legal Funding is one of the many companies who loan or advance cash to those waiting for a payout from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF).  The outrageous profits from this lending are then funnelled into RD Capital, a hedge fund currently being investigated by the federal Securities and Exchange Commision.  If my theory is correct, this means many 9/11 cancer victims are seeing their awards greatly diminished to line the pockets of hedge fund investors. SAD!

Not only did RD Legal Funding target 9/11 first responders and victims who suffered from cancer, they also preyed on NFL football players with serious and permanent brain injuries from multiple concussions. Some have dementia and early onset Alzheimer’s. SAD!

According to an article in Forbes Magazine, “The NFL Players Association sent a “Fraud Alert” last week, but the fear is that far too many players eligible to receive proceeds from a settlement that could be worth $1 billion and may reach over 20,000 retired players are subject to being deceived into taking an “advance payment.” The company at issue is RD Legal Funding, and authorities are also digging into two related entities as well as RD Legal’s principal identified as Roni Dersovitz.

Huge Interest Rates for Those Who Received Money from RD Legal Funding

It appears RD Legal Funding specifically targeted two groups—9/11 first responders who developed cancer and were waiting on compensation from the 9/11 James Zadroga Act Fund and NFL football players who had suffered serious concussions with permanent brain injuries. The company identified vulnerable victims in these two categories who were awarded a settlement, but were waiting for the money to come through.  RD Legal would then offer 9/11 victims awaiting payment from the WTC Fund—who were cancer stricken and often drowning in debt and medical bills—an upfront payment they could ostensibly repay once their settlement money came through. Then, when the settlement did come through and these 9/11 victims attempted to repay the loans, they found themselves paying more than twice the amount lent to them by RD Legal—sometimes only mere months earlier.

As an example, one woman who had been awarded $65,000 by the Zadroga WTC Fund (a 9/11 compensation fund set up by Congress for the benefit of first responders who suffered from medical issues directly related to the toxic dust which settled over the area), found herself owing nearly twice what she was advanced. The woman took out an loan from RD Legal of $18,000 to tide her over while she waited for her Zadroga Fund settlement. When she received that settlement, six months later, RD Legal informed her she now owed $33,000. SAD!

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman of NY calls the practices of RD Legal Funding “shameful”.  RD Legal, as well as the founder of the Company, Roni Dersovitz are named as defendants in the current lawsuit by the Attorney General. Dersovitz has had prior troubles with the law, as he was not only accused of lying to investors of RD Legal Capital, but was also sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission last year.

The lawsuit against RD Legal Funding claims the company misled 9/11 victims by telling them they would help them get their settlements more quickly.  In fact, RD Legal Funding has neither the ability nor permission to help a victim receive their settlement from the James Zadroga Fund more quickly than would normally happen.

The WTC Victim Compensation Fund lawyers at Turley Hansen & Partners agree with the New York State Attorney General that the practices of RD Legal Funding are “shameful” and further victimize vulnerable 9/11 victims currently fighting cancer.

We suggest that no 9/11 first responder or victim applying to the WTC Victim Compensation Fund should use their services until the lawsuit from the New York Attorney General is completed. If you have already taken a loan from RD Legal Funding while you await your 9/11 settlement award money, we suggest you should call the New York State Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-771-7755 or your 9/11 attorney to see if you must repay these outrageous loans.

Turley Hansen & Partners have the resources and experience needed to represent first responders and survivors of 9/11 before the federal 911 WTC Victim Compensation Fund. Call us at 1-855-WTC-INFO (1-855-982-4636) if you have any questions.

9/11 WTC Fund Awards for Skin Cancer

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Exposure to the 9/11 toxins put 9/11 responders and downtown residents/workers at high risk for developing non-melanoma 9/11 skin cancer. The Zadroga Act covers WTC Fund related skin cancers and makes appropriate tax free pain and suffering awards..

Non-melanoma skin cancer (including basal and squamous cell) is covered under the 9/11 Zadroga Act for both medical care under the World Trade Center Health Program, and for victim compensation eligibility under the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.

Non-melanoma skin cancer is, by far, the most common type of cancer “certified” by the World Trade Center Health Program as caused by exposure to the 9/11 toxins that hung over lower Manhattan (and anywhere where the 9/11-related debris was handled).  The latest WTCHP report documents close to 2,000 responders and survivors who have been certified as eligible for free lifetime treatment and cash compensation for non-melanoma skin cancer.

Recognizing Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of skin cancer is extremely important, as it can lead to aggressive and proactive treatment to prevent the spread of the disease.

·         Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) – the first sign of BCC is often a small pink or reddish lump on normal skin. This lump is often also pearly and dome shaped, but it can vary in shape and in color. It is a very slow growing tumor. Over time, the lump can bleed or crust over. If left untreated, the BCC can spread to nearby structures and damage them. This is especially true if the BCC is located near the nose or ear.

·         Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) – the first sign of SCC is a small crusty or scaly area of skin on the face, lips or ears. Sometimes it grows into a lump or it may even look like a wart. As the SCC grows, it can also damage nearby structures and completely erode them. It can also spread to other parts of the body, but this is rare.

Diagnosing Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer at World Trade Center “Clinical Centers of Excellence”

Skin cancer is diagnosed by taking a biopsy of the tissue. Once the tissue is examined under a microscope and a diagnosis of skin cancer is made, a doctor can help you determine what additional testing you will need. If he or she suspects that your cancer has already spread to other parts of the body, your doctor may decide to order X-rays, blood tests, or MRI scans.

Treating Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer at WTC Health Program “Clinical Centers of Excellence”

The physicians at the WTCHP “Clinical Centers of Excellence” have specialists to diagnose and provide treatment of non-melanoma skin cancer.  There are numerous ways non-melanoma can be treated, especially if it is caught early. In many cases, the cancerous tumor can simply be extracted and removed from the body and the normal skin stitched together. In other cases, cryosurgery is recommended where the cancer cells are frozen with a liquid nitrogen treatment. In some cases, chemotherapy creams or photodynamic therapy is recommended. When you are diagnosed, your physician will be able to determine the best course of treatment for your cancer.

General Outlook for Patients with Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer

The good news is that almost all BCCs and SCCs can be treated and cured. Since the rate of metastasis is low with these types of cancer, the localized tumor can usually be removed and the cancerous cells killed with simple operations or techniques. However, it is important to note that individuals with a history of BCCs and SCCs have a greater chance of developing another one in the future.

WTC skin cancer  the most common 9/11-related cancer treated at the WTCHP Clinical Centers of Excellence. The WTC attorneys at Turley Hansen have represented numerous clients with non-melanoma skin cancer before the WTC Victim Compensation Fund. Should you have questions about medical care or an award for Non-melanoma skin cancer from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, please call us at 1-855-982-4636.

You or your partner should keep a close eye on you skin!

FDNY Publishes Most Comprehensive 9/11 Health Impact Study Ever Done

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God bless the medical professionals at the FDNY WTC Health Program. They just published a thorough 100`page study on the health impacts of 9/11 on FDNY rescue and recovery workers (Firefighters, EMT’s, Paramedics, Officers, civilians and retirees) for the past 15 years.  And it’s all written in plain English.  

See the New 2016 FDNY 9/11 Health Impact Study here.

After the World Trade Center collapsed on 9/11, a cloud of dust and debris resembling a massive volcanic explosion enveloped lower Manhattan.  In addition to the 343 firefighters killed that terrible day, thousands more were on the front lines of rescue and recovery for nearly ten months. During these heroic efforts, they were exposed to WTC toxins including burning jet fuel, asbestos, wood and fiberglass particulates, cement dust, noxious gases, chemicals and carpet fibers.  Since 9/11, 127 FDNY responders have died from 9/11 cancers and/or respiratory problems.

In the last 15 years, the FDNY WTC Health Program, under the outstanding leadership of Drs. Kerry J. Kelly and David J. Prezant, has provided medical treatment for either physical or mental conditions (PTSD, depression) to almost 14,000 fire department members. Last year alone, the FDNY World Trade Center Health Program provided medical care to over 9000 members. The need is still strong.

The most common FDNY WTC-related illnesses continue to be 9/11 related upper and lower respiratory diseases such as COPD, chronic bronchitis, interstitial lung disease, asthma and rhinosinusitis.  Unfortunately, 9/11 related cancers among FDNY members continue to grow – with 9/11 prostate cancer and  9/11 thyroid cancers being the most predominant. FDNY 9/11 responders were found to have higher cancer rates among all types of cancers, compared to the general population. Unfortunately, our office has seen a significant increase in the last year of 9/11 related skin cancer, 9/11 lung cancer  and  9/11 colon cancer among our 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund claim clients.

The findings of this comprehensive study show important  health monitoring is for all 9/11 first responders, including the NYPD. To date, the FDNY WTC Health Program has provided over 130,000 yearly monitoring exams saving countless lives. Keep up the great work!

 

 

9/11 Responders Urged to Join World Trade Center Health Program by Jon Stewart

Jon Stewart, formerly of the Daily Show and an devoted advocate for 9/11 victims, appeared on a special Facebook streaming program yesterday to urge 30,000 people potentially eligible for health care through the World Trade Center Health Program and compensation through the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund to take advantage of the programs. (listen above to a Daily News snippet).

This important and informative event, held at the 9/11 Memorial Museum, was much needed. For the last five years, this blog has posted literally hundreds of informative posts on the benefits available to 9/11 first responders and all downtown workers and residents in lower Manhattan. Nevertheless, there are still many individuals who don’t know they are eligible. This is a shame because the 9/11 World Trade Center Health Program brings world class medical professionals to those eligible under the 9/11 Zadroga Act.

As a service to our clients, Turley Hansen will complete all paperwork to enroll our clients in the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) so you can concentrate on your health.

Besides enrolling our clients in the health program, our office works with clients everyday advising of all the World Trade Center Health Program’s benefits and how they may impact on their 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund claim.

We can streamline the entire process of obtaining “proof” documents both the World Trade Center Health Program and the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.

Those eligible do not have to give up their current treating doctors to avail themselves of the significant benefits of the World Trade Center Health Program. For example, no matter where in the country you live, if you are a 9/11 cancer victim you can continue to treat with your current surgeon and oncologist but also obtain benefits, such as 100% paid prescriptions, from the health program.

Those eligible for coverage for health care under the 9/11 Zadroga Act may include:

  • Workers and Volunteers – construction workers, utility workers, security workers, volunteers, etc. (call us for full list) who worked or volunteered in rescue, recovery, demolition, debris cleanup or related support services in lower Manhattan (south of Canal St), including Ground Zero, the Staten Island Landfill, or the trucks, barges, or piers;
  • Members of the NYPD or the Port Authority Police (active or retired) who participated in rescue, recovery, debris cleanup, or related services in lower Manhattan (south of Canal St), including Ground Zero, the Fresh Kills Landfill, or the barge piers;
  • Members of the Fire Department of New York City – FDNY (fire or emergency personnel, active or retired) who participated at least one day in the rescue and recovery effort at any of the former World Trade Center sites (including Ground Zero, Staten Island Landfill, and the New York City Chief Medical Examiner’s Office),
  • Volunteer firefighters and police officers not employed by NYC;
  • NYC morgue workers;
  • Vehicle-maintenance workers who was exposed to debris from the former World Trade Center site while retrieving, driving, cleaning, repairing, and maintaining contaminated vehicles.

New York City Survivors (including downtown residents, office workers, students)

  • All people who were present in the New York City disaster area in the dust on September 11, 2001;
  • All people who worked, lived, or attended school, child care, or adult day care in the New York City disaster area for at least 4 days during the 4-month period beginning September 11, 2001, and ending on Jan. 10, 2002, or at least 30 days during the 11 months beginning September 11, 2001 and ending on July 31, 2002;
  • All people on who worked as cleanup workers or performed maintenance work in the New York City disaster area during the 4 months starting September 11, 2001, and ending on Jan. 10, 2002;

Pentagon/Shanksville, Pennsylvania Responders

  • Fire department employees (both fire and emergency personnel, active or retired), police department employees (active or retired), recovery or cleanup workers and contractors and volunteers (including Red Cross) who took part in the rescue, recovery, demolition, debris cleanup, or other related services after the terrorist-related air crashes on September 11, 2001, at the Pentagon or the passenger-jet crash site in Shanksville, PA.

Some of the most common 9/11 cancers that can be treated through the World Trade Center Health Program include:

If you would like Turley Hansen to enroll you in the 9/11 World Trade Center Health Program in conjunction with your 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund claim, please call us at 1-855-WTC-INFO. We will answer all your questions take care of all the paperwork.

A new website 911wereyouthere.com has been launched by several non-profit 9/11 support groups with additional info. In addition, you can call the World Trade Center Health Program directly at 1-888-982-4748.

 

 

9/11 Skin Cancer Screening Available at World Trade Center Health Program

9/11 Skin Cancer

9/11 Skin Cancer

Michael Dorian, who has 9/11 related skin cancer, was recently profiled on New York Fox 5 News about his 9/11 cancer. He is urging all first responders, volunteers, downtown workers and downtown residents to take advantage of yearly skin cancer screens at the World Trade Center Health Program.

Michael was a veterinary technician who went down to Ground Zero on 9/11 soon after the buildings collapsed as a volunteer. He administered oxygen and washed out the eyes of first responders and other volunteers who were on the pile.

Michael was there for only about 24 hours working on top of the pile.  Within days, he was in the hospital with throat burns from inhaling the dust, fumes and debris.

14 years after 9/11, at age 47, Michael was diagnosed with skin cancer. Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers impacting 9/11 survivors.  The World Trade Center Health Program’s list of almost 70 covered cancers linked to 9/11 includes skin cancer, including 9/11 melanoma.

The are three common types of  9/11 skin cancer:

  • Basal cell carcinoma

  • Squamous cell carcinoma

  • Melanoma (by far the most serious of 9/11 related skin cancers)

Michael says his doctors have given him just two years to live. Despite that dire prognosis, Michael says he does not regret helping at Ground Zero. He says he would do it again because he knows he helped. Michael is a true 9/11 volunteer hero!

Michael is now trying to help other volunteers. He says he never realized his cancer could be linked to 9/11. He was not aware of the World Trade Center Health Program at Mount Sinai Hospital.

It is available to anyone who lived or worked in any capacity south of Canal Street (see map here) between 9/11/2001 and 5/30/2002. He is urging everyone to get screened, even if they don’t have symptoms now.

If you would like to join the World Trade Center Health Program, you may call 1-888-982-4748. In the alternative, our 9/11 lawyers enroll our clients in the medical program for free.

Michael is thankful for every day he has left. He says there is a drug currently in clinical trials that could possibly prolong his life.  Let’s hope he will stay alive long enough to get the chance to try it.

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