Wondering if You Can File a 9/11 Neuropathy Claim? Our Lawyers Explain the WTC Health Program’s Stance
In April of 2016, we reported that researchers at Winthrop University Hospital released a study that concluded that individuals exposed to World Trade Center dust were 15 times more likely to report neuropathic symptoms (nerve damage) than those not exposed. Based upon the strength of that evidence, the World Trade Center Health Program was petitioned to add peripheral neuropathy to its list of covered conditions, which it declined to do. In November of that year, an FDNY responder again petitioned the WTC Health Program to add peripheral neuropathy to its covered conditions list, relying in part on an updated version of the Winthrop University study finding that 56% of patients exposed to WTC Dust suffered from the condition. The WTC Health Program declined to update its list a second time, citing insufficient evidence. As of the date of publication, peripheral neuropathy remains absent from the WTC Health Program’s list of covered conditions.
Now, a new study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health has found that 25% of workers aged 40 and over who were exposed to WTC site toxins reported peripheral neuropathy symptoms. Criteria for inclusion in the study were:
- Having arrived at the disaster site between the morning of September 11, 2001, and September 24, 2011
- Having been an active FDNY firefighter or EMS on 9/11
- Having taken at least one post-9/11 health questionnaire
- Being 40 years old at the time of their most recent questionnaire
These criteria yielded 9,239 firefighters and EMS. Of the 25% who exhibited symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, 30.6% were in the “indicated” group (those with a diagnosed history of conditions known to be linked to peripheral neuropathy such as diabetes, cancer, and autoimmune disease), while 23.8% were in the “non-indicated” group (those without such conditions). The study also found that individuals with the highest exposure to the WTC disaster site (those arriving on the morning of September 11, 2001) were more likely to exhibit symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.
It remains to be seen what action if any, the WTC Health Program will take in light of these new findings.
What Is Peripheral Neuropathy?
Peripheral neuropathy occurs when the peripheral nerves (i.e., those outside the brain and spinal cord) are damaged as a result of traumatic injuries, infections, exposure to toxins, and diabetes. While peripheral neuropathy is not life-threatening, it can cause severe discomfort in its sufferers. Some of its symptoms include:
- Numbness, prickling, and tingling in the extremities
- Sharp, throbbing, or burning pain
- Sensitivity to touch
- Lack of coordination accompanied by falling
- Paralysis (if motor nerves are affected)
- Heat intolerance
- Excessive sweating or inability to sweat
- Bowel, bladder, and digestive problems
Contact the 9/11 Victims Lawyers at Pitta & Baione for More Information
If you suffer peripheral neuropathy or any other 9/11-related condition, you should speak to an attorney who can help you evaluate your options for compensation. To get started, please contact the 9/11 victims lawyers at Pitta & Baione by using our online contact form or by calling us at 844-982-2667.
Pitta & Baione Successful Claims
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Secured an expedited award for a former Lower Manhattan corporate executive who developed 9/11 breast cancer.
Favorable result secured for an NYPD detective who responded to the attacks and later suffered from 9/11 brain cancer.
Secured a wrongful death claim on behalf of a union carpenter who worked on the 9/11 cleanup efforts at Ground Zero and was later diagnosed with 9/11 lung cancer.
Secured a favorable result for an area worker in Lower Manhattan who later developed 9/11 thyroid cancer.
Secured an expedited award for New York State Supreme Court employee who was disabled by 9/11 brain cancer.
Secured a wrongful death award on behalf of a Lower Manhattan corporate executive who was diagnosed with 9/11 leukemia.
Secured an expedited award for a union carpenter who worked in Lower Manhattan after 9/11 and was later found disabled by 9/11 lung cancer.
Secured an expedited award for a Local 94 operating engineer who worked in Lower Manhattan after 9/11 and was later found disabled by 9/11 lung disease.
NASAL CAVITY CANCER
Secured an xpedited award for a DSNY sanitation worker who assisted in the 9/11 cleanup efforts at Ground Zero and was later diagnosed with 9/11 nasal cavity cancer.
Secured an expedited award for a New York City Department of Corrections corrections officer who served as a volunteer responder on 9/11 and later developed a disabling and rare 9/11 brain cancer.
Secured a favorable result for a wrongful death claim on behalf of a TWU Local 100 MTA worker who participated in the 9/11 recovery efforts and later developed 9/11 lung cancer.
Successfully represented an union carpenter who built temporary structures at Ground Zero as a 9/11 responder and later developed disabling 9/11 colon cancer.
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