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New Legal Help May Be On The Way For 9/11 Heroes


Almost eight years after the attacks of September 11, 2001, a New York judge has laid a road map that may help resolve some of the hundreds of lawsuits filed by first responders suffering from respiratory and other medical ailments.

Southern District of New York Judge Alvin Hellerstein has assigned two special masters to examine test cases in some of the suits brought by nearly 10,000 plaintiffs—suits that have been dragged out for years.

“Hopefully this will help bring some closure to the first responders suffering respiratory problems,” says Steven M. Centore, author of One of Them: A First Responder’s Story. “It’s too late for many first responders to find justice, but maybe this will help some of them.”

Mr. Centore, a first responder, federal employee and Navy veteran, details his own battles with insurance companies and the federal government in his book—battles that have made his many medical symptoms harder to deal with.

“It’s one thing being very ill,” says Mr. Centore, “but to have to fight every step of the way to get help for what was caused by 9/11 is adding insult to injury.”

Now that Judge Hellerstein has made a decisions as to how the test cases will be handled, there should be thirty cases on track for argument of motions by January 2010. Trial readiness may come as soon as May of that same year.

The plan by Judge Hellerstein is facing the same complexities Mr. Centore outlines in One of Them, including:
 Some first responders were involved in search-and-rescue missions immediately after the Twin Towers fell, while others worked there over longer periods of time
 Thousands of laborers were involved in the cleanup and shipment of debris to the Fresh Kills Landfill on Staten Island
 Some contractors worked only select areas of Ground Zero while others traveled all over
 Some first responders were given masks and others were not

“It’s really a shame that it’s taken this long for the wheels of justice to start turning,” says Mr. Centore.

To learn more about how you can help, or to buy the breakout book One of Them: A First Responder’s Story, visit or The book is also available on, and

For more information about One of Them: A First Responder’s Story, contact Steven M. Centore directly at

WORLDWIDE ASSOCIATION OF DISABLED VETERANS, INC. and author Steven M. Centore chose Arbor Books, Inc. ( to design and promote One of Them: A First Responder’s Story. Arbor Books is an internationally renowned, full-service book design, ghostwriting and marketing firm.

(One of Them: A First Responder’s Story by Steven M. Centore; ISBN: 0-9801274-0-8; $16.95; 208 pages; 5½”x 8½”; softcover; Worldwide Association of Disabled Veterans, Inc.)


 9/11 first responders
 Ground Zero
 World Trade Center

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