Tuesday, February 1, 2011

9/111 Lawyer on Vacation as payments wait...

The city has released more than $5 million in initial payments for some Ground Zero workers, but many plaintiffs are still getting requests for required documents they thought were already filed -- while their top lawyer took a posh, two-week vacation in Switzerland, The Post has learned.

The first funds -- up to $3,250 each for 2,210 workers and their spouses-- were wired Friday to the law firm representing most of the 10,000 suing 9/11 responders, Worby Groner Edelman & Napoli Bern, said a spokesman for the WTC Captive Insurance Co, the city-run entity controlling a $1 billion federal fund.

The law firm is expected to deduct its 25 percent fee, plus expenses, and send checks to their clients.

Under the mass settlement, worth $662.5 million, the first payments must be made 20 days after the deal was finalized on Jan. 5, or after an outside firm verifies the claims.

The first $5 million is going to plaintiffs “who have met the requirements for payment under the final settlement agreement,” said a WTC Captive statement yesterday. “We will continue to make timely payments as these requirements are met.”

Some responders received letters from the law firm this month, warning:


“YOU WILL RECEIVE NO COMPENSATION UNDER THE SETTLEMENT UNLESS YOU SATISFY WORK PROOF REQUIREMENTS.”

 Lawyers have known about the requirements for at least 10 months.

Meanwhile, lead lawyer Paul Napoli took a getaway in Zermott, a Swiss resort near the Matterhorn, from Dec. 18 to Jan. 2, insiders said. He also spent Thanksgiving week in Anguilla, a Caribbean island, and went to Paris and Aix en Provence in southern France last September, after a deadline for workers to sign onto the settlement was extended two months to Nov. 8.

"A lot of people need this money for medical costs -- or because they're flat out broke -- and he thinks its a perfect time to see Europe." fumed a 9/11 responder awaiting payment for his illness.

Napoli yesterday denied delays on his end, saying "All forms and documents have been submitted timely. The paperwork needs to be processed before payments are made. That is out of our hands."

He said his office is staffed every day and holidays -- and time with his family is "always an important priority."

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/payouts_on_hold_as_lawyer_vacations_mw9lwMJLW1bgfPFCirujcJ#ixzz1CjDDC1cV

9/11 Forensic Expert Dies...

Brick - A man who participated in the forensic investigations of the Sept. 11 attacks, American Airlines Flight 587 crash and other accidents has passed away, according to a report on APP.com.

Haskell Askin, 75, of Brick, served as the tour commander for the Office of Chief Medical Examiner of New York City and spent more than 25 years as the chief forensic odontologist for the Philadelphia Medical Examiner's office.

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