Statement Of Marc J. Bern, Senior Partner, Worby Groner Edelman & Napoli Bern, LLP On The James Zadroga 9/11 Health And Compensation Act Hearing Before The Senate Health, Education, Labor And Pensions Committee
New York, New York, June 29, 2010, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: We continue to strongly support the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act that had its first Senate Hearing today and commend Senator Gillibrand on her efforts to move the legislation forward. We believe the bill can and should work together with the WTC Amended Settlement Process Agreement that was approved by Federal District Court Judge Alvin Hellerstein last week and that will provide guaranteed, timely and fair compensation to 10,000 police, firefighters and other rescue workers who sustained injuries from their work at ground zero after 9/11.
We also continue to believe that the benefits of Zadroga should be available to individuals who participate in the settlement, and call on Congress to amend the bill so that our clients will not be penalized for participating in a settlement for which they have waited for years. This can easily be accomplished and there is Congressional precedent.
The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) of 2000 - federal legislation providing compensation to certain workers who were exposed to hazardous materials at nuclear facilities - requires that compensation received under the bill be offset by any payments received from other sources, including settlements of legal claims.
Congress should amend Zadroga and adopt the EEOICPA language so that the heroes of 9/11 are not forced to make such an unnecessary choice.
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