Picture of the Freedom Tower

The Year of the WTC Survivor

By Hansen & Rosasco


When a WTC-related death among fellow FDNY firefighters follows another death in quick succession, the sense of loss is all the more devastating. For those who were stricken with a terminal illness related to the 9/11 WTC terrorist attacks during and after September 11, 2001, this sense of loss was magnified three-fold earlier this month.

Sadly, as reported by Thomas Tracy in the New York Daily News, three FDNY firefighters who had been afflicted with cancer or illness due to their service at Ground Zero all passed away within the 48-hour period between April 2 and April 4:

  • Lieutenant Timothy O’Neill died of 9/11-related cancer
  • Firefighter Kevin Lennon died of 9/11-related cancer
  • Fire Marshal Michael Andreachi died of 9/11-related illness

By September 2019, the number of 9/11-related deaths will likely exceed those of 2018. The WTC Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) was created to provide financial aid and resources to people who were either physically injured during the 9/11 terror attacks or developed illnesses afterward from having been exposed to toxins and contaminants at Ground Zero. Additionally, family members of victims who lost their lives are entitled to file a claim on their behalf. Unfortunately, in the last year there has been a change in what victims thought they would receive in terms of compensation.

It was reported recently that monetary awards promised to anyone stricken with a 9/11-related cancer or sickness was going to be reduced – by as much as 50% to 70%.  As if the victims – first responders, residents and workers in Lower Manhattan, and anyone who regularly spent time in that vicinity – had not suffered enough, this turn of events is the latest cruelty in a never-ending saga of pain and loss. The initial amount of each award was to take care of their families. And now, that compensation is being severely cut.

One small sign of hope is proposed bipartisan legislation that some members of Congress are pressing to have put into action: “Never Forget the Heroes: Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act,” HR.1327/ S.546.  This legislation already has over 200 cosponsors in the House of Representatives, and many Senators are now supporting this cause. The purpose of this legislation is to ensure that victims of the September 11 tragedy will receive 100% of the compensation they deserve, particularly from related cancers and deaths.

And be aware that you can help increase the chances of seeing this legislation pass. Contact your member of Congress and United States Senator now. Click on this link to let them know them you support full funding for the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.

The legal team at Turley Hansen & Rosasco, LLP continues to advocate for those whose lives have been affected by 9/11, as well as their families. If you or a family member think you are entitled to receive compensation for your illness or injury that was connected to this tragedy, do not be discouraged. Between ongoing efforts to see that the “Never Forget the Heroes” legislation passes and the dedication of our staff – who are exclusively devoted to the cause of 9/11 survivors – we can work toward helping you or your loved one earn a just award.

Contact the 9/11 attorneys at Turley Hansen & Rosasco, LLP today for a free 9/11 WTC case evaluation at 1-855-WTS-INFO. Together, we can work toward attaining the compensation you deserve.

Posted under: 9/11 Victim Compensation
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