One thing you may not want to do is come anywhere near the expanding number of angry 9/11 victims, whose latent diseases are multiplying daily. Thirty days from tomorrow, a new rule will go into effect that adds 50 cancers “to the list of sicknesses covered by a $4.3 billion fund set up to treat and compensate people exposed to the dust, smoke and fumes of the collapsing World Trade Center.”
That seems like great news, but as the Huffington Post reports today:
It’s been 11 years since terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center towers, and more than a year-and-a-half since President Barack Obama signed into law a bill meant to compensate responders and survivors sickened from exposure to the hazardous debris and toxins of Ground Zero.
But they're going to have to wait a while longer -- perhaps more than a year -- before most of them start to see any of the money authorized in the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.
“It's going to be a process, and I think it's going to take a year or two until that process really gets moving," said Sheila Birnbaum, the special master of the $2.775 billion 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund. "People have to get medical records, they have to do all kinds of things, and they're going to have to get certified that they meet the criteria.”
The compensation fund was supposed to start work in July of 2011, and many believed that money would start to flow a year later. It hasn't, and although there are explanations for why, people whose lives were shattered by the terrorists' attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, are starting to get frustrated.
“These people need the money. I talk to a lot of them, they're all struggling along and they're not getting anything,” said Joe Zadroga, the father of the late police officer after whom the Zadroga Act is named.
“These people are really down,” Zadroga added. “I just get upset about it because we fought so hard to get that bill passed, and now they're dragging their feet on it.”
“We still haven't gotten 10 cents,” said TJ Gilmartin, a construction worker from Brooklyn who rushed to Ground Zero with a truck after the attacks, and has seen his ability to work deteriorate, along with the health of his lungs.
And while they wait, the 9/11 casualty count grows. As ABC News reports,
“They’re only about ten years too late,” said Jeffrey Stroehlein, who retired from the New York Fire Department in May 2011, two months after he was diagnosed with a type of brain cancer that affects the central nervous system. “I’m watching people die of these diseases, these ailments, as they go on and play ping pong,” he said of government officials arguing over whether cancer should be included in Zadroga Act coverage.
Meanwhile, Larry Silverstein, leaseholder of the World Trade Center property, is still pursing his tort case against United Airlines, American Airlines, Boeing, the Massachusetts Port Authority, and security companies for property losses due to security breaches, which allowed the hijackers to board the planes. Writes Reuters, “[t]wo recent rulings by a federal judge in New York denying the airlines’ bid to dismiss the lawsuit over a narrow insurance dispute have opened the door to the entire case ending up in the hands of a jury.”
Silverstein is seeking $8.4 billion in damages for loss of property and lost business, even though U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein has limited the amount to the $2.8 billion Silverstein paid for the leases. The lawsuit is among the last pieces of litigation resulting from the attacks of September 11, 2001, which killed more than 3,000 people in New York, the Pentagon outside Washington, and Pennsylvania.
The aviation defendants’ liability insurance is estimated at more than $10 billion, according to court documents. Among dozens of insurers of American Airlines are Associated Aviation Underwriters Inc and Avion Assurance Limited insurance groups. United Airlines has U.S. Aircraft Insurance Group and British Aviation Insurance Group among its insurers.…
Financial services firm Cantor Fitzgerald is also suing American Airlines over lost business and the destruction of its offices in the World Trade Center. The firm said in a court filing last March it was seeking between $464 million and $488.8 million in property damages. American Airlines Flight 11 struck the north tower, killing 658 Cantor employees. United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the south tower.
And if you need some reminder of what W was doing when those two planes hit Cantor, here a little refresher: