Why Do Some People Who Claim to Want to Help First Responders Endorse Screwing Them Over?

gretavo's picture

Here is Jon Gold yet again pretending to be the first responders' best friend.  This is of course the same Jon Gold who "isn't sure" if the twin towers were demolished with explosives.  Now, given that the whole reason the first responders are sick and dying is that they inhaled extremely toxic dust that would not have been produced had it not been for the use of explosives in demolishing the twin towers, you really have to wonder what kind of friend Jon Gold really is to these heroes.  It's one thing to talk the talk and support legislation you haven't read and don't understand--it's something totally different to actually achieve justice for those whose lives have been shortened by the criminal act of demolishing the twin towers with explosives.  The new bill Gold is pimping now is essentially tacking on the "clean up" to the existing provisions in the Aviation and Transportation Security Act that first shielded the airlines AND anyone connected to the WTC property (i.e. Silverstein) from liability beyond their insurance coverage for liability.  The one potential bright spot in this new bill is the part that says "`(B) EXCEPTION- Subparagraph (A) shall not apply to claims or actions based upon conduct held to be intentionally tortious in nature or to acts of gross negligence or other such acts to the extent to which punitive damages are awarded as a result of such conduct or acts."  The problem is that it only applies to the debris removal phase.  

The bottom line is that all this legislation is intended to prevent there being cases brought against people like Silverstein for the actual destruction of his property--even if no criminal case were ever filed by the government, those affected could sue him in civil court just as the Goldman family successfully sued OJ for wrongful death despite his "not guilty" status based on his criminal trial.  Jon Gold seems to support the first responders only up to the point where they may actually get their hands on some of Silverstein's billions based on his--at the very least--gross negligence in allowing his buildings to be wired for demolition right under his nose.  Just from the insurance windfall 5000 first responders could get an average of $1 million apiece--how much more does Lucky Larry have stashed away that could go to the victims families I wonder?

  

  

H.R.847

James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2009 (Introduced in House)


 

 

SEC. 201. DEFINITIONS.

 

    Section 402 of the Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act (49 U.S.C. 40101 note) is amended--

 

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      (1) in paragraph (6) by inserting `, or debris removal, including under the World Trade Center Health Program established under section 3001 of the Public Health Service Act,' after `September 11, 2001';

 

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      (2) by inserting after paragraph (6) the following new paragraphs and redesignating subsequent paragraphs accordingly:

 

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      `(7) CONTRACTOR AND SUBCONTRACTOR- The term `contractor and subcontractor' means any contractor or subcontractor (at any tier of a subcontracting relationship), including any general contractor, construction manager, prime contractor, consultant, or any parent, subsidiary, associated or allied company, affiliated company, corporation, firm, organization, or joint venture thereof that participated in debris removal at any 9/11 crash site. Such term shall not include any entity, including the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, with a property interest in the World Trade Center, on September 11, 2001, whether fee simple, leasehold or easement, direct or indirect.

 

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      `(8) DEBRIS REMOVAL- The term `debris removal' means rescue and recovery efforts, removal of debris, cleanup, remediation, and response during the immediate aftermath of the terrorist-related aircraft crashes of September 11, 2001, with respect to a 9/11 crash site.';

 

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      (3) by inserting after paragraph (10), as so redesignated, the following new paragraph and redesignating the subsequent paragraphs accordingly:

 

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      `(11) IMMEDIATE AFTERMATH- The term `immediate aftermath' means any period beginning with the terrorist-related aircraft crashes of September 11, 2001, and ending on August 30, 2002.'; and

 

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      (4) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

 

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      `(14) 9/11 CRASH SITE- The term `9/11 crash site' means--

 

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        `(A) the World Trade Center site, Pentagon site, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania site;

 

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        `(B) the buildings or portions of buildings that were destroyed as a result of the terrorist-related aircraft crashes of September 11, 2001;

 

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        `(C) any area contiguous to a site of such crashes that the Special Master determines was sufficiently close to the site that there was a demonstrable risk of physical harm resulting from the impact of the aircraft or any subsequent fire, explosions, or building collapses (including the immediate area in which the impact occurred, fire occurred, portions of buildings fell, or debris fell upon and injured individuals); and

 

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        `(D) any area related to, or along, routes of debris removal, such as barges and Fresh Kills.'.

 

SEC. 202. EXTENDED AND EXPANDED ELIGIBILITY FOR COMPENSATION.

 

    (a) Information on Losses Resulting From Debris Removal Included in Contents of Claim Form- Section 405(a)(2)(B) of the Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act (49 U.S.C. 40101 note) is amended--

 

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      (1) in clause (i), by inserting `, or debris removal during the immediate aftermath' after `September 11, 2001';

 

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      (2) in clause (ii), by inserting `or debris removal during the immediate aftermath' after `crashes'; and

 

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      (3) in clause (iii), by inserting `or debris removal during the immediate aftermath' after `crashes'.

 

    (b) Extension of Deadline for Claims Under September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001- Section 405(a)(3) of such Act is amended to read as follows:

 

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      `(3) LIMITATION-

 

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        `(A) IN GENERAL- Except as provided by subparagraph (B), no claim may be filed under paragraph (1) after the date that is 2 years after the date on which regulations are promulgated under section 407(a).

 

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        `(B) EXCEPTION- A claim may be filed under paragraph (1), in accordance with subsection (c)(3)(A)(i), by an individual (or by a personal representative on behalf of a deceased individual) during the period beginning on the date on which the regulations are updated under section 407(b) and ending on December 22, 2031.'.

 

    (c) Requirements for Filing Claims During Extended Filing Period- Section 405(c)(3) of such Act is amended--

 

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      (1) by redesignating subparagraphs (A) and (B) as subparagraphs (B) and (C), respectively; and

 

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      (2) by inserting before subparagraph (B), as so redesignated, the following new subparagraph:

 

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        `(A) REQUIREMENTS FOR FILING CLAIMS DURING EXTENDED FILING PERIOD-

 

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          `(i) TIMING REQUIREMENTS FOR FILING CLAIMS- An individual (or a personal representative on behalf of a deceased individual) may file a claim during the period described in subsection (a)(3)(B) as follows:

 

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            `(I) In the case that the Special Master determines the individual knew (or reasonably should have known) before the date specified in clause (iii) that the individual suffered a physical harm at a 9/11 crash site as a result of the terrorist-related aircraft crashes of September 11, 2001, or as a result of debris removal, and that the individual knew (or should have known) before such specified date that the individual was eligible to file a claim under this title, the individual may file a claim not later than the date that is 2 years after such specified date.

 

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            `(II) In the case that the Special Master determines the individual first knew (or reasonably should have known) on or after the date specified in clause (iii) that the individual suffered such a physical harm or that the individual first knew (or should have known) on or after such specified date that the individual was eligible to file a claim under this title, the individual may file a claim not later than the last day of the 2-year period beginning on the date the Special Master determines the individual first knew (or should have known) that the individual both suffered from such harm and was eligible to file a claim under this title.

 

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          `(ii) OTHER ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR FILING CLAIMS- An individual may file a claim during the period described in subsection (a)(3)(B) only if--

 

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            `(I) the individual was treated by a medical professional for suffering from a physical harm described in clause (i)(I) within a reasonable time from the date of discovering such harm; and

 

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            `(II) the individual's physical harm is verified by contemporaneous medical records created by or at the direction of the medical professional who provided the medical care.

 

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          `(iii) DATE SPECIFIED- The date specified in this clause is the date on which the regulations are updated under section 407(a).'.

 

    (d) Clarifying Applicability to All 9/11 Crash Sites- Section 405(c)(2)(A)(i) of such Act is amended by striking `or the site of the aircraft crash at Shanksville, Pennsylvania' and inserting `the site of the aircraft crash at Shanksville, Pennsylvania, or any other 9/11 crash site'.

 

    (e) Inclusion of Physical Harm Resulting From Debris Removal- Section 405(c) of such Act is amended in paragraph (2)(A)(ii), by inserting `or debris removal' after `air crash'.

 

    (f) Limitations on Civil Actions-

 

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      (1) APPLICATION TO DAMAGES RELATED TO DEBRIS REMOVAL- Clause (i) of section 405(c)(3)(C) of such Act, as redesignated by subsection (c), is amended by inserting `, or for damages arising from or related to debris removal' after `September 11, 2001'.

 

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      (2) PENDING ACTIONS- Clause (ii) of such section, as so redesignated, is amended to read as follows:

 

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          `(ii) PENDING ACTIONS- In the case of an individual who is a party to a civil action described in clause (i), such individual may not submit a claim under this title--

 

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            `(I) during the period described in subsection (a)(3)(A) unless such individual withdraws from such action by the date that is 90 days after the date on which regulations are promulgated under section 407(a); and

 

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            `(II) during the period described in subsection (a)(3)(B) unless such individual withdraws from such action by the date that is 90 days after the date on which the regulations are updated under section 407(b).'.

 

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      (3) AUTHORITY TO REINSTITUTE CERTAIN LAWSUITS- Such section, as so redesignated, is further amended by adding at the end the following new clause:

 

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          `(iii) AUTHORITY TO REINSTITUTE CERTAIN LAWSUITS- In the case of a claimant who was a party to a civil action described in clause (i), who withdrew from such action pursuant to clause (ii), and who is subsequently determined to not be an eligible individual for purposes of this subsection, such claimant may reinstitute such action without prejudice during the 90-day period beginning after the date of such ineligibility determination.'.

 

SEC. 203. REQUIREMENT TO UPDATE REGULATIONS.

 

    Section 407 of the Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act (49 U.S.C. 40101 note) is amended--

 

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      (1) by striking `Not later than' and inserting `(a) IN GENERAL- Not later than'; and

 

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      (2) by adding at the end the following new subsection:

 

    `(b) Updated Regulations- Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2008, the Special Master shall update the regulations promulgated under subsection (a) to the extent necessary to comply with the provisions of title II of such Act.'.

 

SEC. 204. LIMITED LIABILITY FOR CERTAIN CLAIMS.

 

    Section 408(a) of the Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act (49 U.S.C. 40101 note) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraphs:

 

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      `(4) LIABILITY FOR CERTAIN CLAIMS-

 

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        `(A) IN GENERAL- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, subject to subparagraph (B), liability for all claims and actions (including claims or actions that have been previously resolved, that are currently pending, and that may be filed through December 22, 2031) for compensatory damages, contribution or indemnity, or any other form or type of relief, arising from or related to debris removal, against the City of New York, any entity (including the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey) with a property interest in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 (whether fee simple, leasehold or easement, or direct or indirect) and any contractors and subcontractors thereof, shall not be in an amount that exceeds the sum of the following:

 

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          `(i) The amount of funds of the WTC Captive Insurance Company, including the cumulative interest.

 

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          `(ii) The amount of all available insurance identified in schedule 2 of the WTC Captive Insurance Company insurance policy.

 

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          `(iii) The amount that is the greater of the City of New York's insurance coverage or $350,000,000. In determining the amount of the City's insurance coverage for purposes of the previous sentence, any amount described in clauses (i) and (ii) shall not be included.

 

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          `(iv) The amount of all available liability insurance coverage maintained by any entity, including the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, with a property interest in the World Trade Center, on September 11, 2001, whether fee simple, leasehold or easement, or direct or indirect.

 

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          `(v) The amount of all available liability insurance coverage maintained by contractors and subcontractors.

 

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        `(B) EXCEPTION- Subparagraph (A) shall not apply to claims or actions based upon conduct held to be intentionally tortious in nature or to acts of gross negligence or other such acts to the extent to which punitive damages are awarded as a result of such conduct or acts.

 

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      `(5) PRIORITY OF CLAIMS PAYMENTS- Payments to plaintiffs who obtain a settlement or judgment with respect to a claim or action to which paragraph (4)(A) applies, shall be paid solely from the following funds in the following order:

 

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        `(A) The funds described in clause (i) or (ii) of paragraph (4)(A).

 

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        `(B) If there are no funds available as described in clause (i) or (ii) of paragraph (4)(A), the funds described in clause (iii) of such paragraph.

 

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        `(C) If there are no funds available as described in clause (i), (ii), or (iii) of paragraph (4)(A), the funds described in clause (iv) of such paragraph.

 

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        `(D) If there are no funds available as described in clause (i), (ii), (iii), or (iv) of paragraph (4)(A), the funds described in clause (v) of such paragraph.

 

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      `(6) DECLARATORY JUDGMENT ACTIONS AND DIRECT ACTION- Any party to a claim or action to which paragraph (4)(A) applies may, with respect to such claim or action, either file an action for a declaratory judgment for insurance coverage or bring a direct action against the insurance company involved.'.