May 27, 2017
By Barasch McGarry
As we all know, 2,974 lives were lost on 9/11. In the years since, unfortunately, the number of victims has grown. Thousands more, including New York City teachers, school administrators and even former high school, middle and grade school students, have fallen seriously ill from 9/11-related cancers and other diseases.
Among those infected by toxic exposure at the World Trade Center were teachers and students from 12 different New York City schools and two colleges located in Lower Manhattan, all within the contamination zone.
According to the federal government, anyone who was below Canal Street in Manhattan in the 10 months following 9/11 was exposed to toxic dust.
When the towers fell, teachers and students fled from the area, running through the contaminated air. When schools reopened in the months that followed, the air was still unsafe to breathe, despite inaccurate assurances to the contrary by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
In recent weeks, Pamela King, who teaches at the High School of Economics & Finance in New York City’s Financial District, only steps away from the World Trade Center, shared her story with Q104.3FM radio host Shelli Sonstein. (http://tinyurl.com/ly6nr5c)
Ms. King told how, five minutes before the first tower collapsed, she assisted other faculty members in successfully evacuating 750 students from the building to safety. She is one of the many New Yorkers who acted selflessly that day.
In 2015, Ms. King was diagnosed with breast cancer and she had surgery to remove the tumor. While she battles the disease, the law firm of Barasch MGarry is fighting to ensure that she is awarded compensation that she deserves from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF), to alleviate the financial burden for her and her family.
Thousands of teachers, school employees and students were also contaminated. A significant number are now cancer-stricken. Young adults are beginning to come forward and seek legal representation with Barasch McGarry. “It’s so sad”, said Mike Barasch, managing attorney at the firm which represents nearly 10,000 survivors of the attacks. “We represent 6 former students who have WTC-related cancers. They are all in their 20s”, said Barasch.
Many teachers and students have not made the connection that their illnesses could be directly correlated to working in, or attending school in, Lower Manhattan. There is a presumption by the National Institute of Health that 68 cancers are linked to the WTC toxic dust.
Ms. King’s story is hardly unique. Anyone, regardless of occupation, who was working or living south of Canal Street in the months following 9/11 may be eligible for VCF compensation. This includes office workers, utility workers, welders, EMTs, construction workers and countless other people who spent time in the exposure zone who have gotten sick.
No one simply doing their job on or around 9/11 should have to shoulder this burden alone.
Barasch McGarry’s job is to help the 9/11 community gain the protections that are rightfully theirs. Contact us at 646-893-4556 or www.wtclawyers.com for a free consultation.