City report suggests 9/11 workers crying wolf

Posted: Updated:

A New York City report claims many Sept. 11 responders aren't as sick as their lawyers claim they are, angering local responders.

According to a New York Times article published Wednesday, attorneys for the city say a sample of medical records shows that nearly 3,000 workers have claimed only minor ailments and that as many as 300 said they weren't sick at all. According to the review, up to one-third of the workers have symptoms that resemble a common cold.

"The city merely took incomplete records and gave it to the newspaper for negative press," says White Plains attorney David Worby, who represents about 10,000 responders. The plaintiffs claim the city is trying to avoid paying $1 billion more in compensation.

The report has left some firefighters, EMTs and workers who took part in the cleanup reeling.

"I've been waking up in the middle of the night gasping for air," says former NYPD Officer Richard Volpe, who lives in Mount Kisco. "It's been six years since we started this litigation. I just keep seeing my friends in this case getting sicker and sicker."

Volpe argues that the respiratory ailments could have been avoided if the city had given responders masks and encouraged their use.

John Walcott, who was the second plaintiff to join the lawsuit, agrees with Volpe. "Believe me, I'd rather have a cold than leukemia," Walcott says.

Lawyers for the city did not return calls for a comment.

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