A new law signed by New York Governor David A. Paterson will allow sick and injured 9/11 recovery workers to sue New York City. Legal claims from these workers have been barred because of missed deadlines, but all that is about to change.
Over 3,000 9/11 workers are thought to be affected by the change in law, as they will now be able to move forward with lawsuits previously thrown out by a federal judge. The suits were thrown out because they had not been filed within 90 days of a workers’ comp condition being diagnosed, as was required by law.
Even workers who never filed claims on injuries they suffered while working at Ground Zero can now file lawsuits against the city.
Many rescue workers are angry because they claim they were told that the air around the Twin Towers site was safe to breathe, when in fact it was not. Workers claim that they are continuing to lung and respiratory related illnesses as a result of inhaling contaminated air.
There is not an unlimited amount of money to pay out on new claims, however. New York City’s liability in the 9/11 lawsuits has been capped at $350 million, and if there are additional claims Paterson does not plan to make taxpayers cover the difference.