Status of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, Will It Run Out of Funds, A Conversation with Michael Barasch (October 29th)
Soon after the 9/11 attacks the Congress created the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF). Initially, the VCF was created to award moneys to 9/11 victims or their families. Awards were made through 2004. In 201o1 the Congress passed the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, named after a 34-year old NYC policeman who died in 2006 of 9/11 related illness, was created to compensate first responders and individuals who later developed 9/11-related health problems including numerous forms of cancer and PTSD. The fund was re-authorized in 2015 by President Obama for five years (it will will sunset in December 2020). Because of the ever-increasing number of 9/11-related illnesses the VCF Special Master, Rupa Bhattacharyya, recently noted the fund could run out of moneys before all claims are resolved. Ms. Bhattacharyya recently posted a Federal Register notice soliciting comments asking the public how the remaining funds should be allocated.
During this 28 minute interview, Mr. Barasch discusses his firms 9/11 experience. Located at ground zero, half his employees have since succumbed to cancer or are currently battling the disease. He provides an explanation why the EPA came to determine the air quality at ground zero was safe (it definitively was not), provides an overview of the VCF and the related World Trade Center Health Program, his firms work in representing 9/11 victims seeking VCF settlements, efforts to solicit the Congress to further fund the VCF and the prospects of a wrongful death civil suit filed against the Saudi Arabian government (15 of the 19 9/11 terrorists were Saudis).
Michael Barasch is the Managing Partner of Barasch & McGarry, lawyers for the 9/11 community. His firm has represented over 11,000 victims of 9/11 in their pursuit of a VCF settlement. Ms. Barasch is a graduate of Fordham Law School.
For more on Barasch & McGarry go to: https://www.personalinjuryjustice.com/
Barasch and McGarry's VCF-related work can be found at: 911victimfund.com
The Department of Justice's VCF info is at: www.vcf.gov & DOJ's VCF helpline is: 1.855.885.1555.
Concerning the Federal Register notice "September 11th Victim Compensation Fund: Compensation of Claims" (comments due December 3), see: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/10/03/2018-21490/september-11th-victim-compensation-fund-compensation-of-claims