On November 4, 2019, Pitta & Baione LLP hosted a Staten Island 9/11 VCF Town Hall discussion at Saint John’s University’s Staten Island campus featuring Founding Partners: Vito R. Pitta, Christopher J. Baione, and Matthew J. Baione, Law Clerk: Victoria F. Volpe, and Senior Advisors: former Fire Commissioner Sal Cassano and former three-time Staten Island Borough President Jim Molinaro. Congressman Max Rose (NY-11) opened up the event with remarks about the recently passed bipartisan legislation Never Forget the Heroes Act which extended the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (9/11 VCF) through 2090 and provided an additional $10 billion in funding.
The programming was aimed at educating students, faculty, and alumni about the impact of the September 11th attacks, the toxic fallout, and the ongoing impact on the Staten Island community. Founding partners Christopher and Matthew Baione graduated from St. John’s University in 2009 and 2011, respectively. They remain committed to giving back to their alma mater and were excited to participate in the event to educate their fellow Staten Islanders about the billions in federal 9/11 benefits available they may be entitled to.
The discussion opened with a welcome from Victoria F. Volpe, who graduated from the campus in 2016. Special guest, Congressman Max Rose, was introduced by founding partner Vito R. Pitta. Congressman Rose discussed his commitment to advocating for the recently passed Never Forget the Heroes Act. During the 2019 VCF funding crisis, Rose led a bipartisan effort to garner support from fellow Members of Congress who were elected after the passage of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization of 2015. In announcing his support and leadership of the Never Forget the Heroes Act, Rose said that “9/11 wasn’t just an attack on New York—it was an attack on the United States of America, so we have to do more than never forget.”
The Staten Island 9/11 VCF panel discussion was moderated by St. John’s University alumni and professor Joseph G. Kenny. Pitta & Baione LLP panelists discussed the September 11th attacks, fallout from the 9/11 toxins and its impact on the Staten Island Community, homeland security, and recent developments in the Victim Compensation Fund including important deadlines and common conditions such as cancer. Christopher and Matthew also explained how their St. John’s honors program educations prepared them to create and manage a law firm representing thousands of clients for whom they’ve recovered over $100 million for. Students, faculty and alumni engaged in a question and answer session with the firm following the panel discussion.