New York City employees claim the city did not adequately supply them with respirators and later failed to ensure that the existing respirators were being used while they labored in an environment of mercury, asbestos, and other contaminants.
The lawsuits are on behalf of about 3,000 firemen, police, paramedic, construction workers, and contractors who participated in the recovery and the clean-up operation at the World Trade Center site and the landfill in Staten Island to where the debris was removed. This enormous undertaking will involve creating a database that contains records of illnesses and diagnoses as well as provide information on which areas each worker was present in.
Long after the attacks, there were critical lapses in the enforcement of safety standards and in the dissemination of vital information about the safety of the air at Ground Zero to those most affected, the workers themselves. (NY SUN)