New York High Court Gives 9/11 First Responders Extra Year to Sue Under “Jimmy Dolan’s” Law

Zadroga Act

By Lynn Shapiro, Staff Writer

Heroic 9/11 cleanup workers who were sickened from exposure to asbestos and toxic chemicals can proceed with their lawsuits against the Battery Park City Authority (BPCA), the corporation responsible for planning lower New York City neighborhoods, according to a November 22nd ruling by the state Court of Appeals, New York State’s highest court.

Thus ends a protracted legal battle, starting when a group of eight 9/11 cleanup volunteers filed suit against the BPCA, between 2006 and 2009, having developed debilitating respiratory conditions.

Earlier Ruling Denies First Responders

The first responders’ claims were denied in an earlier ruling by New York’s Southern District court in December, 2014.

The lower court had affirmed that under New York law, plaintiffs were required to serve notice to the BPCA within 90 days after their claims accrued.

Jimmy Nolan: Heroic Carpenter

The judge in the 2014 Southern District also ruled that Jimmy Nolan’s Law, formally known as The Zadroga Act, enacted in 2009, was unconstitutional.

The law was named after Jimmy Nolan, a brave first responder.

It was signed on September 16, 2009, by Governor David A. Patterson to support 9/11 rescue workers and cleanup crews, who are experiencing serious respiratory damage.

Nolan had been working on a construction site near Ground Zero, when he heard the planes striking the Twin Towers.

He ran to the site to help. and ended up staying day and night for three weeks.

Jimmy Nolan didn’t become ill immediately following his exposure to asbestos, but now suffers from wood and skin allergies, as well as respiratory problems, according to the New York Law Journal.

Given the Court of Appeals favorable verdict, Jimmy Nolan’s law stands.

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