Ex-cops that sparked 9/11 suit hope for medical help

Posted: Updated:

Six years after the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, two Hudson Valley men that started a lawsuit to get health benefits for first responders are no closer to seeing it happen.

Thousands of police officers, firefighters and more who rushed in to help after the Twin Towers fell are getting sick, and some of them are dying. Former NYPD officer Richard Volpe, of Mount Kisco, says he could feel the toxins fill his lungs when he was at Ground Zero. Volpe developed a rare kidney disease and was forced to retire before his time. His partner, John Walcott, of New City, was diagnosed with benzene-induced leukemia.

The two men joined forces with White Plains attorney David Worby to file a lawsuit seeking money for medical help from the Sept. 11 insurance fund, which was set aside by Congress. Ten-thousand people are represented in the suit.

None of the people in the suit have seen any money from a billion-dollar fund given to New York City. The city claims victims have to sue to get the money. Worby says out of his 10,000 clients, at least 1,500 are severely ill and 130 have died.

Volpe and Walcott fear that if another attack ever occurred, people may not be so quick to help after seeing how first responders are getting treated by the government.

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