Chinese Chamber of Commerce NY Press Conference on Zadroga Act
Today, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of New York (CCCNY) hosted a press conference to inform Chinese-American residents of Lower Manhattan who were exposed to 9/11 toxic dust and debris about federal health and compensation benefits that may be available to them. Pitta Giblin & Baione LLP attorney Christopher Baione spoke at the press conference, along with community leaders Virginia Kee, co-founder of the Chinese-American Planning Council and the United Democratic Organization, Jenny Low, Democratic District Leader for Chinatown/Lower East Side, Justin C. Yu, Chairman of CCCNY, Kenny Leung, Vice Chairman of CCCNY, and Yuh-Line Niou, Chief of Staff to Queens Assemblyman Ron Kim and Democratic Candidate for the 65th Assembly District. Media outlets on hand included Sing Tao Daily New York, Apple Daily, New Tang Dynasty Television, and World Journal.
Christopher Baione explained that individuals who lived, worked, attended school, or visited locations below Canal Street between 9/11/01 and 5/30/02 may be eligible for free healthcare and compensation under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. However, Mr. Baione stressed that time is of the essence for potential 9/11 victim compensation claimants as they are subject to strict filing deadlines. Generally, claimants must register for compensation within two years of their diagnosis date.
Mr. Baione went on to list some of the more common 9/11 related conditions such as cancer, asthma, rhinosinusitus, GERD (persistent heartburn), lung diseases such as pulmonary fibrosis, silicosis, and asbestosis. These conditions are eligible for medical monitoring, treatment, and medication through the World Trade Center Health Program at Clinical Centers of Excellence throughout New York City and around the United States. Mr. Baione also explained that the World Trade Center Health Program Scientific/Technical Advisory Committee and Administrator Dr. John Howard continue to review patient statistics and medical research in order to recognize other conditions as well. For example, COPD and acute traumatic injury were recently added to the List of Covered Conditions.
The community leaders expressed their concern for Chinese-Americans who may be unaware of the potentially life-changing federal benefits, and, worse, may be prevented from receiving compensation due to filing deadlines. Virginia Kee, for example, explained that she was unaware of the Zadroga Act until recently meeting with Pitta Giblin & Baione LLP, and unfortunately is currently outside the deadline to file for compensation. Mrs. Kee does not want others to end up in the same position as her.
Today’s press conference also served to announce that The Chinese Chamber of Commerce of New York will host Pitta Giblin & Baione LLP for an information session and workshop about the World Trade Center Health Program and September 11th Victim Compensation Fund on August 12, 2016 at 3:00 p.m. in the Community Room at 33 Bowery.