New York City Testifies to Re-Open 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund
March 31, 2009
Two House Judiciary Subcommittees held a joint hearing on the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act (HR 847). The bill would provide long-term federal funding for the monitoring and treatment of those exposed to the WTC disaster. It would also re-open the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. Michael Cardozo, of the New York City Corporation Counsel, and other witnesses testified in support of the legislation.
The Victim Compensation Fund’s filing period ended in December 2003, which was well before many affected developed 9/11-related health problems. The Fund paid more than $7 billion in federal taxpayer dollars to 5,560 people who lost loved ones or were injured in the attacks, including many rescue and recovery workers with respiratory problems. In return, the claimants agreed not to file lawsuits against any U.S. party for their loss. Almost 11,000 rescue and recovery workers who missed the filing deadline or were not eligible for the Fund are now suing New York City.
"If in fact [these rescue and recovery workers] were hurt as a result of their work in helping their country recover from a terrorist attack, or as a result of exposure to dust and fumes from the attack, [they] deserve to be compensated by their country for their losses. There is no just reason for them to get nothing while many others, who were in essentially the same position, but who met the strict eligibility requirements for compensation from the fund, were compensated," Cardozzo said in his testimony .