Justinian C. Lane, Esq.
Let Justice Be Done, Though the Heavens May Fall
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Justinian Lane's Blog

Justinian's Blog

Who Does Tort Reform Hurt?

Among others, the police and firefighters involved in the rescue and cleanup operations of 9/11.  Cyrus over at TortDeform.com has an excellent post about the hoops injured 9/11 workers are having to jump through just to get medical treatment.

"• A mass of workers compensation claims, which were the only route to benefits for many cleanups workers, are filed by sick workers in the years after the attacks. Many of these claims denied based on both an inability to meet the high burden of proof required to show medical causation, and an overly restrictive statutes of limitations. In addition, many of the claims were contested and became stalled in an appeals process which kept victims from getting benefits for months or years.

• These claims are delayed and denied out of hand because of a shortage of funds to cover all of these claims. Instead of attempting to secure more funding to address these workers compensation claims, the state-run (and largest) workers compensation insurer simply denied meritorious claims.

• City officials went so far as to deny and contest the workers compensation claim of its own former Deputy Mayor (Rudy Washington), who was responsible for coordinating the immediate response to 9/11 on the ground in the days immediately after the attack.

Similarly, in a workers compensation hearing, the city went so far as to argue that the fact that 9/11 happened needed to be proven to the judge." (Emphasis added.)

I generally keep my emotions in check, but I think I would have had a hard time doing so if someone suggested to me that I needed to prove 9/11 happened.  Especially if I was representing someone who was injured during the cleanup process.

Say what you want about "greedy trial lawyers," but there's not a single one of them trying to deny the medical claims of 9/11 rescue workers.  That sort of evil only can come from an insurance adjuster.

Tort ReformJustinian Lane