View Full Version : No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

12-17-2004, 12:50 PM
Rescuer in September 11 Attacks Denied Workers' Comp
By Michael Gormley The Associated Press Thursday 16 December 2004 Albany, N.Y. -

A World Trade Center worker who rushed from home on Sept. 11, 2001, to help rescue victims of the terrorist attack has been denied workers' compensation because he wasn't ordered to the scene by a boss, a court ruled Thursday. The Appellate Division of state Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the state Workers' Compensation Board, and against Christopher Duff's workers' compensation claims for psychological injuries. Duff had won a claim for an unreported amount at two lower-level hearings, but an appeal was won by the state, according to the decision. "The man was the property manager for the World Trade Center," said one of Duff's attorneys, Robert Grey. "We don't understand the finding that he was not in the course of his employment."


12-17-2004, 01:01 PM
"psychological injuries"?

12-17-2004, 03:48 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote highsea:</font><hr> "psychological injuries"? <hr /></blockquote>

I failed to include a link to the whole story. Here's the rest of it:

Grey said the decision does preserve the former state worker's claim to compensation for respiratory and psychological problems as a volunteer. That status, however, is somewhat less certain because it will be paid out of a finite federal fund, rather the state workers' compensation fund, Grey said. He said he may appeal Thursday's ruling.

"While the Appellate Division did affirm that the board clearly acted in accordance with the law, we are concerned for this individual and hope for his continued recovery," said Jon Sullivan, a spokesman for the Workers' Compensation Board. He said the board will work with the claimant on obtaining the federal benefits.

As property manager for the Port Authority, Duff had an office on the 86th floor of One World Trade Center, the first tower hit in the terrorist attack. He was scheduled to work that day, but remained at home that morning to meet workers who were to make repairs to his bathroom. Grey said he had permission to be home.

"After he received a frantic telephone call informing him that one of the towers had been hit, (Duff) traveled to the World Trade Center site and was present when he second tower fell," the court decision stated. "Breathing in dust and smoke, he ran for his life and later became physically ill. He then returned every day throughout the following week, as a volunteer, to assist in the rescue efforts."

But the appellate panel sided with the state's appeal, saying Duff "admitted at the March 2003 hearing that he was at home when the towers were hit and decided, of his own volition and not at the request or direction of his employer, to risk his life by going to the site and, thereafter, to assist as a volunteer in the rescue efforts."

The federal government gave New York state $175 million to help pay workers' compensation claims arising from the Sept. 11 attacks and the cleanup efforts. The General Accounting Office reported that the state Workers' Compensation Board had used about $49 million of that money as of mid-2004.