Pitta & Baione Featured in Staten Island Advance
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Staten Island-based lobbyist and attorney Vincent Pitta and his partners have created an affiliate law firm that will focus on getting compensation benefits for victims of 9/11 toxin exposure.
The firm will seek 9/11 damages under the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.
The Zadroga Act created the World Trade Center Health program to administer free medical, monitoring and treatment, and the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund to provide compensation for those suffering from 9/11 toxins exposure.
The act was reauthorized in December to extend health benefits through 2090, to extend the compensation deadline to December 2020 and to add an additional $4.6 billion in benefits.
Originally, Pitta, and partners Vincent Giblin and Vito Pitta advocated for uniformed and construction trades union clients. The new firm will work with 9/11 victims and their families. Former Borough President James Molinaro and former Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano are senior advisors to the firm to raise awareness in the community.
“Time is of the essence for eligible claimants,” the partners said in a press release. “The fund is due to expire on Dec. 18, 2020 and the time limit to file for compensations generally two years from the date of diagnosis.”
It has been estimated that 10,000 new cases of 9/11 pulmonary disorders will be diagnosed between now and 2019.
The firm will have offices at 25 Hyatt St. in St. George, and in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Albany.
As discussed in our earlier blog post, Staten Island played a major role in the rescue and recovery efforts post-9/11 both at Ground Zero and at the Fresh Kills Landfill. Many locals are members of the FDNY, NYPD, EMS, DSNY, and National Guard, as well as of unions such as International Union of Operating Engineers Locals 14, 15, and 94, Laborers Local 79, Steamfitters Local 638, and Transit Workers Union Local 100.
Additionally, between 9/11/01 and 5/30/02, many Staten Islanders regularly commuted to Lower Manhattan for work and school where they unfortunately were exposed to 9/11 toxic dust and debris. These individuals, and families of the deceased, may also be eligible for free healthcare through the World Trade Center Health Program and compensation through the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.
Pitta & Baione LLP is proud to represent victims of exposure to 9/11 toxins, and families of the deceased, before the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, and to help facilitate their application process with the World Trade Center Health Program. We are also committed to raising community awareness, especially in the forgotten borough, because there are critical filing deadlines for compensation. Senior advisors Salvatore Cassano, former FDNY Fire Commissioner who was promoted to FDNY Chief of Operations immediately after 9/11, and James P. Molinaro, former three-term Borough President of Staten Island, are advising the firm on community outreach.
Attorneys Christopher and Matthew Baione are particularly interested in raising awareness to members of the FDNY. Their grandfather, FDNY Lieutenant Christopher Baione actually worked with Salvatore Cassano for a time at Engine 6, located on 113 Liberty Street before it was relocated to make way for the World Trade Center. Lt. Baione was a first responder to the now infamous 1975 New York Telephone Exchange Fire in the East Village where over 100 tons of PVC insulated wiring burned for 16 hours. Lt. Baione developed terminal renal cancer believed to be related to his exposure to the burning PVC, and, unfortunately, passed away before either Baione had a chance to meet him. This fire was reexamined after September 11th in articles regarding higher rates of cancer among those exposed to toxins in Lower Manhattan.