Manhattan, New York (NewYorkInjuryNews.com) — On March 26, 2008, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (“Second Circuit”) issued a major decision, allowing the claims of workers sickened by dust and contamination at the World Trade Center disaster site (“WTC Site”) to proceed against the City and its contractors.
The Second Circuit’s ruling, written by a panel of three judges, is a great victory for all WTC rescue workers with lawsuits pending before the Hon. Alvin K. Hellerstein in the Southern District of New York. The decision was reached after the Court considered the written brief and oral argument of Sullivan, Papain, Block, McGrath & Cannavo P.C.
In October 2006, Judge Hellerstein refused a request by the City and contractors to dismiss the cases. They urged that the District Court grant them “immunity” or blanket protection from the lawsuits. The City and contractors argued that since their efforts at the WTC Site were a “good faith” response to an act of war, any failure to provide rescue personnel with appropriate, effective respiratory protection should be overlooked.
The Second Circuit, describing rescue workers as “Individuals who, without thought of self, rushed to the aid of the City and their fallen comrades,” determined that Judge Hellerstein’s decision to allow the cases to continue was correct, dealing yet another blow to the defendants.
At this time, the cases will proceed before Judge Hellerstein, who has appointed two officials to assist the Court in the process of reviewing medical records and other relevant information concerning each injured worker. Sullivan Papain currently represents hundreds of workers in the WTC Litigation, and has been named liaison counsel to all plaintiffs by the Court.
Because of strict deadlines to bring these types of claims, you are encouraged to contact the firm immediately if you are suffering from an illness or injury you think may be connected to your service at the WTC Site.
Contributor: Michael Block, Esq., New York Work-Related Fire Fighter Litigation Attorney