Personal Injuries Information Portal.

HomeTypes of Personal InjuriesLegal RightsTips and ArticlesSitemapResourcesDirectory




New York City Police Officers Death Related To Work Exposure

On January 5, 2006 former New York City Police Officer James Zadroga died of respiratory disease. Officer Zadroga performed rescue and recovery work at the World Trade Center during the month following the September 11 tragedy. Shortly afterwards he developed a chronic cough, shortness of breath and acid reflux.

Over time he had increased difficulty breathing and lost significant weight. During the four and one half years between his exposure and eventual death Officer Zadroga sought recognition from the government that his condition was related to his September 11 exposure. He also sought assistance in meeting his medical and financial obligations. The government denied these requests.Under New Jersey Workers Compensation Law the type of exposure Officer Zadroga sustained would be compensable.

His employer would be responsible for providing medical treatment, pay for time out of work and a final payment of permanent disability benefits. In the case of his death, the employer would also be responsible for providing Officer Zadroga's dependents, in his case his young daughter, with dependency benefits.There are two types of compensable incidents acknowledged by New Jersey Workers Compensation Law. The more common of the two is the specific accident. Slip and falls, car accidents and lifting injuries are prime examples of specific accidents. However, New Jersey Workers Compensation Law also acknowledges occupational exposures as being compensable.

Officer Zadroga sustained this type of injury.Occupational exposure injuries occur over a period of time. No one specific incident causes the injury. Instead, constant and repeated exposures to harmful conditions cause the worker to suffer an injury.

Carpal tunnel syndrome, repetitive motion injuries and pulmonary disease are prime examples of occupational injuries. To be compensable, an occupational exposure must be more than minimal and must be peculiar to the work place.The phrase "more than minimal" relates to the length of the exposure. A fleeting exposure may not lead to a compensable injury. There is no set amount of time that separates a minimal exposure from one that is more than minimal. The Courts apply a "reasonableness" standard.

Officer Zadroga spent 16 hour days sifting through the World Trade center debris. He spent a total of 470 hours performing this job. By any reasonable understanding of the term, this length of exposure to severe pulmonary irritants must be considered more than minimal.The exposure must also be peculiar to the workplace. If it is the type of exposure that you would find in normal, everyday life it will not be compensable.

If the injury is due to the normal aging process it will also not be compensable. Officer Zadroga was exposed to the more than one million tons of dust and debris that resulted from the collapse of the twin towers. This included exposure to multiple toxic chemicals, including asbestos.

It is difficult to imagine another exposure of this type.Officer Zadroga's autopsy results have recently been released. After reviewing the officer's lungs and other vital organs the coroner determined that the cause of death was directly related to the September 11 tragedy. Although this finding came too late to help Officer Zadroga, it may cause the appropriate government agencies to change their position regarding the cause of lung disease for post September 11 workers.

It also may assist aggressive attorneys in compelling these agencies to change that position. This would help the many other individuals who suffer from post September 11 lung disease to obtain benefits for themselves and, if appropriate, for their loved ones.

.Manfred Ricciardelli is an attorney specializing in Work Related Injury Claims. He is also a Volunteer Firefighter. He can be reached at 3 Prospect Street, Morristown, NJ, 07960.

Phone ? (973) 285-1100. E-Mail ? Web Site ?

Copyright ? 2006 ? Manfred F. Ricciardelli, Jr.

By: Manfred Ricciardelli

Personal Injuries

WHO CAN COLLECT MY RECEIVABLES - The internet provides many resources when you need to find a firm to assist.

What if There Were Legal Justice in the United States - What if the courts in America could be trusted with justice? What if there really was legal justice in our nation? What if there were not totally politically motivated prosecutions and investigations?.

Lemon Law Expert - Lemon Laws in the US were established to help protect the consumer against the purchase of a bad product, most notably automobiles.

New Jersey DWI Penalties - Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in New Jersey attracts a bunch of penalties that includes fines, charges and surcharges, imprisonment or mandatory counseling.

I have rights - Nature's Rights.



© Copyright All rights reserved.
Unauthorized duplication in part or whole strictly prohibited by international copyright law.
Home Sitemap