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Law Gives Ground Zero Workers More Time to File Claims

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Emergency workers sickened as a result of exposure to toxic dust at  Ground Zero now have more time to file compensation claims  against the city of New York and private contractors, thanks to New York Governor David Paterson’s decision to sign “Jimmy Nolan’s Law” earlier this month.

“Governor Paterson’s decision to sign ‘Jimmy Nolan’s Law’ is a significant legislative victory for all Ground Zero rescue and recovery workers,” David B. Krangle, an attorney with Parker Waichman LLP, a Great Neck, NY law firm that has represented injured 9/11 emergency workers, said in a statement.  “This law ensures that these injured heroes will have access to the compensation they deserve.”

The legislation is named after 9/11 victim Jimmy Nolan, a carpenter from Yonkers and father of three.  Following the terrorist attacks, Mr. Nolan slept at the World Trade Center site for three weeks, assisting in the rescue and recovery efforts.  He now suffers from wood and skin allergies, as well as respiratory problems, because of his exposure to toxic dust and debris at Ground Zero.

Under current law, injured 9/11 rescue and recovery workers had only 90 days to file claims.  However, thousands of “second wave” 9/11 workers – like Jimmy Nolan – developed health problems long after the 90-day limitations period had expired.  “Jimmy Nolan’s Law” allows eligible workers an additional one-year period to file claims.

In the hours and days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, thousands of rescue workers descended on Ground Zero to help with recovery efforts. Sifting through dust and rubble, sometimes with their bare hands, many lacked the clothing and equipment that could have kept them safe from harm. Several studies have confirmed that Ground Zero first responders are suffering from ill health as a result of their exposure to toxic dust at the site.

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