The $7.4 billion fund created to aid people sickened by exposure to toxins at the sites of deadly attacks on the World Trade Center, after the EPA assured them it was safe, now has only $2.4 billion left to pay 19,000 claims. In addition, thousands more are expected to file before the 2020 deadline. Close to 10,000 people in New York have been diagnosed with cancer linked to the attack. Payments to survivors who have already applied will be cut by 50%. For those who file after 2 February, checks will be slashed by 70%.
Sick first responders and survivors of the 9/11 terrorist attacks
will see payments slashed dramatically as the fund to compensate them
runs out of money, officials said Friday.
The fund was created to aid people sickened by exposure to toxins at
the sites of deadly attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon
in 2001, and the families of those who have died.
But the $7.4bn fund is running short on cash so it will cut future payments at least in half, its administrator announced Friday. Payments to survivors who have already applied will be cut by
50%. For those who file after 2 February, checks will be slashed by 70%.
“This is devastating,” said John Feal, a leading advocate for 9/11
responders. “For so many it’s a lifeline, and that lifeline has just
been cut off.”
Thousands of people have fallen ill after breathing air thick with smoke from the collapse of the World
Trade Center. Close to 10,000 people in New York have been diagnosed
with cancer linked to the attack.
Congress voted in 2011 to open the September 11th Victim Compensation
Fund for first responders and survivors sickened by the attack.
So far, it has awarded $5bn to more than 21,000 applicants, with an
average award of about $240,000. That leaves only $2.4bn to pay another
19,000 claims already filed, plus thousands more expected before the
fund closes at the end of 2020.
Judge William Orrick, III, who has ties to Planned Parenthood, refused to disqualify himself and refused to allow a First-Amendment free speech defense. A jury awarded Planned Parenthood over $2-million that includes punitive and compensatory damages as well as attorneys’ fees.
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