New York Post Once Again Misleading on WTC Settlement Story, Says Plaintiffs’ Lawyer
New York, New York, July 31, 2011, For Immediate Release: Waiting until 9:46 pm on a Friday night to seek comment by email, Susan Edelman of the New York Post has once again printed a story comprised of half-truths, designed to tell as few facts as possible while igniting the worries and anger of men and women who have already suffered enough from illness, beaurocratic delay and financial ruin. In writing a story about Edgar Galvis, an office cleaner who became ill with sinus problems and cancer after working near the site of the World Trade Center following the 9/11 attacks, Edelman wrongly suggests that the attorneys, who are bound by law to pay statutory liens out of the client’s settlement funds before he receives payment, have acted improperly.
“This is exactly what the public can expect in the way of ‘reporting’ by a writer and a news organization who have demonstrated again and again they have no interest in the truth,” said Galvis’ attorney, Paul Napoli. “Ms. Edelman waited until well after the close of business on a Friday night to send an email seeking comment rather than call any one of the many attorneys at the firm whose personal phone numbers she has had for years. With that belated non-attempt at seeking comment, the Post then gratuitously claims the firm failed to respond.”
Had the Post been interested in the truth, it would have reported that plaintiff Edgar Galvis has received tens of thousands of dollars in WTC settlements and that he is set to receive tens of thousands more now that review of his claim by the Allocation Neutral is complete and has been approved. Mr. Galvis’ Merrill Lynch settlement occurred and was finalized before his diagnosis with tonsilar cancer in August of 2010, but contrary to the Post article, Napoli explains that “Mr. Galvis’ claim for the cancer has been submitted to the Settlement Allocation Neutral as part of his claim and we were actually able to secure a greater amount in settlement with the City than Mr. Galvis had initially requested, additional tens of thousands of dollars he will receive upon payment of the City claim.” Continuing, Napoli said: “In wrongly claiming that Mr. Galvis was not told how the expense amount deducted from his settlement payment was reached, the Post also conveniently fails to mention that Mr. Galvis, like all claimants, received a detailed expense statement that he acknowledged by signature on April 12, 2010. He also met with us in our office on at least two occaisions and all of these expenses, as well as the liens, were carefully explained to him.”
As part of his Workers Compensation claim, Mr. Galvis’ medical bills and lost wages were paid and Mr. Galvis subsequently settled his Workers Compensation “Section 32” claim receiving checks for those payments in hand. The Post also fails to mention that New York State Law requires these monies to be repaid in the event a claimant such as Mr. Galvis receives a personal injury settlement from a law suit. This is because the Workers Compensation law, like many other types of disability insurance, prevents recipients from being paid twice for the same injuries. Hartford Insurance has required that Mr. Galvis pay back these monies based upon the overall amount of settlement monies he will ultimately receive, rather than as a percentage of any single settlement payment due him. The reason this lien payment encompassed the balance of Mr. Galvin’s Merrill settlement check is because lien payments must be paid back first, before the claimant receives cash for the balance of the settlement. The lien is now partially satisfied and Mr. Galvis will ultimately receive funds out of the additional (larger) settlement with the City. “Unfortunately, while we would like to turn over all the money our firm receives to Mr. Galvis, the State law requires us to pay these monies to those who already advanced the money for his claims. It is only in the last week that the Allocation Neutral has approved his ’Tier 4’ determination notice which will result in payment of his WTC Captive Tier 4 claim – including payment for his cancer diagnosis.”
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- Paul Napoli
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- Worby Groner Edelman & Napoli Bern, LLP
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