Cyrus Dugger

Judge stands up for WTC heroes - mayor must, too

In a perfect follow up to my previous post 9/11 Ground Zero Worker Lawsuit Moves Forward & The Profits Over Safety Business Model Continues, a NY Daily News Editorial drives home the point that the city should not be litigating the claims of Ground Zero workers.

Tort "reformers" often argue that the problem with the civil justice system is that there are too many “frivolous” lawsuits brought against corporations.

This editorial makes the observation that what is just as important as the decision to sue, is the decision to defend a suit.

Instead of defending a suit, you can always just decide to pay for the damage you caused and save a lot of people a lot of time, energy, money, and heartache:

Judge stands up for WTC heroes - mayor must, too

It is time for Mayor Bloomberg to end the war of attrition that city lawyers have been waging against the forgotten victims of 9/11. It is time for the mayor to focus instead on delivering compensation to the thousands of Ground Zero workers who were sickened because they served, as well as to the families of those who have died.

In a ruling that will stand as a milestone in the pursuit of fair treatment for World Trade Center responders, Manhattan Federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein on Tuesday brought Bloomberg to a crossroads. Will the mayor permit Corporation Counsel Michael Cardozo to battle damage claims ad infinitum? Or will the mayor direct his chief attorney to do the right thing and put down the cudgels?

Bloomberg has that choice because Hellerstein wisely - and humanely - rejected Cardozo's argument that the city and its contractors were immune by law from liability because rescue and recovery operations were conducted under emergency conditions. The judge gave 3,000 workers the go-ahead to proceed, if necessary, with individual cases. This should not, and must not, be necessary.

Continue reading "Judge stands up for WTC heroes - mayor must, too"

If you or your organization is interested in learning more about or working on these types of civil justice issues, please feel free to contact me at

Cyrus Dugger
Senior Fellow in Civil Justice
Drum Major Institute for Public Policy

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Posted at 9:44 AM, Oct 20, 2006 in 9/11 & Ground Zero
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