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The Zadroga Act—What is It and How Does It Affect Workers’ Compensation?

In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, many people volunteered to help clean up after the devastation of the twin towers at the World Trade Center. Many of those volunteers subsequently developed illnesses as a direct result of their exposure to toxins, dust and debris in the vicinity of Ground Zero.

In January, 2011, President Obama signed the Zadroga Act, a federal statute that allows not only for the reopening of claims related to illness or injury at Ground Zero, but also extends certain benefits to which claimants may be entitled, such as health monitoring and monetary benefits to replace lost income due to an illness. The Zadroga Act draws its name from James Zadroga, a 34-year-old detective with the New York Police Department, who died after inhaling asbestos, toxic chemicals and cement dust over the course of 500 hours at Ground Zero. He was one of more than 200 firefighters or police officers who died as a result of the attacks. Estimates say that approximately 33,000 others are suffering from illnesses tied to their exposure to the aftermath of September 11.

It’s important to understand that the Zadroga Act grants rights to more than just volunteers on the site. You may have worked at an office near Ground Zero, where you were exposed to the particulates, toxins and other harmful substances.

Tourists visiting 911 memorial in Manhattan

Zadroga Act Provides Benefits for People Injured at Ground Zero

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About The Author

Picture of Michael Serres, ESQ.

Michael Serres, ESQ.

Michael Serres, ESQ. is a reputed Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Astoria, Queens, NY. He graduated from St. John’s University School of Law in 1989. Mr. Serres was admitted to practice law in New York State in 1990 and is admitted in the Federal District Courts for the Southern and the Eastern Districts of New York. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Workers’ Compensation Bar Association and is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Queens County Bar Association.