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Now that it's law, the Zadroga 9/11 compensation bill yields surprises

If only there had been Congressional hearings and scrutiny of the substance of H.R. 847, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, to go along with the campaign of media and political threats that produced its passage.

  • The Queens Courier, "Zadroga bill covers undocumented Ground Zero workers": "After months of fighting to be protected under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, undocumented Latino Ground Zero workers from Queens finally got what they wanted. For the several Latino clean-up workers who were left out of the $713 million settlement following a lawsuit against the city over exposure to World Trade Center dust, the legislation recently signed into law by President Barack Obama would allow them to qualify for health benefits and compensation payments."

  • DNAInfo (NYC News), "Gillibrand's Staff Confuses Downtown Residents Over 9/11 Fund Eligibility: "LOWER MANHATTAN -- Staff from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's office disseminated misinformation about the new 9/11 health law to a group of angry downtown residents at a meeting Monday night. Gillibrand's staff told Community Board 1 that downtown residents who got sick after 9/11 are not eligible for the new $2.5 billion Victim Compensation Fund. But in fact, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act does not exclude anyone, and residents, students and office workers, along with rescue and recovery workers, are all welcome to apply for the fund, Rep. Jerrold Nadler's office said Tuesday morning."

  • DNAInfo (NYC News), "9/11 Healthcare Advocate Recommends 5 Reliable Lawyers": "LOWER MANHATTAN -- John Feal, a leading advocate for first responders sickened at Ground Zero who helped push the federal 9/11 healthcare bill into law, has released a list of five lawyers he trusts to help those eligible collect the federal payouts. Feal previously warned responders not to sign any agreements with lawyers who had already started circling even before President Obama signed the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act earlier this month. But over the weekend, Feal and his staff at the FealGood Foundation released the names of those firms they feel are reliable, well-established, and prepared to fight for thousands of rescue and recovery workers to receive a share of the newly-created $2.8 billion Victim Compensation Fund."

  • Politico, "Schumer: TARP czar for 9/11 fund": "Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) asked Attorney General Eric Holder Thursday to appoint Kenneth Feinberg to administer the fund created by a recent law that provides health care and other benefits for some 9/11 first responders. Feinberg -- the former 'pay czar' for the Troubled Assets Relief Fund -- volunteered in a letter to Schumer to oversee the fund, which designates $4.3 billion to assist responders who became sick after in the aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks. Feinberg offered to do the job pro bono."

  • Confederation of Indian Industry, Jan. 5, news release, "Unfortunate to see US continue down protectionist path: CII," protesting the funding mechanism for the bill: "While CII understands and appreciates the need to compensate victims of terrorist attacks in the US, the new-found and easy practice of unfairly targeting foreign companies to pay for domestic imperatives is unjustified. Several critics have pointed to the absurdity of the provisions, which would be akin to India requiring US companies to pay for healthcare compensation of victims of the 26/11 terrorist attacks in Mumbai. Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry has also termed it a 'retrograde step' in US-India economic relations."

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.