Health Care Coverage for All 9/11 Victims

Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson: Michael Baracsh (Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, 2019) has represented 9/11 victims who have had to fight for health care coverage as a result of exposure to the harmful contaminants from the collapse of the World Trade Center towers. In a new development, the health care coverage from the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund will be extended to students, teachers, and staff stemming from the extension to the law that was signed in July.

“Everybody was exposed to the same toxic dust,” Barasch said. “It didn’t matter whether you were a responder or a student or a teacher or a downtown resident or office worker.”  Barasch noted that many students are now being diagnosed with the same cancers as the first responder firefighters. The Department of Education and United Federation of Teachers are conducting a joint effort to contact thousands via letter, social media, and an information event on October 28 to help raise awareness.

Barasch recently hosted an outreach effort in mid-September at his law firm.  The event was headlined by comedian Jon Stewart, who has been one of the most prominent public advocates for the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund. The fund will ensure compensation through 2090.


In the Headlines

Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady: Hal R. Lieberman (Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law, 2011) represented former police officer and attorney Wayne Thatcher, who has been suspended from practicing law for two years.  Thatcher pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of forcible touching after a complaint from an imprisoned woman.  The woman agreed to wear a disguised camera and recorded Thatcher committing the crimes that he had been accused of.  At least nine other women had accused Thatcher of similar offenses. “Had she not come forward, I have full faith that this defendant would continue to abuse the people that sought help from him, abuse the powerless, abuse those who were in jail depending on him to help them,” said the district attorney at sentencing.  Thatcher was sentenced to at least 45 days in jail.  

Jay Goldberg: Jay Goldberg (Criminal Defense – White Collar, 1989-1990) is representing Patrick Allen who is accused of pointing a gun at police in Charleston, Staten Island. Allen and a co-defendant were spotted by officers who were responding to a shots fired call near a wooded area. When the two officers demanded the two men stop, Allen opened his jacked revealing body armor, then pulled a gun and cursed at them.  The officers shot Allen several times in the vest before taking him in to custody.  Allen’s co-defendant was later captured in the woods with an assault weapon and two handguns. 

Beveridge & Diamond: Michael Murphy (Environmental Law, 2017) is representing the community of Floral Park in an effort to stop the development of a project in the Belmont Park area that would include a new arena for the New York Islanders. Both Mayor Dominick Longobardi and the residents of Floral Park feel that the project has ignored their concerns and could have serious detrimental effects on their environment as well as quality of life. Some of the concerns include a “flawed and deficient” traffic mitigation plan, an Elmont Long Island railroad station that would be developed adjacent to an elementary school, and the installation of two 30,000-gallon liquid petroleum tanks. In the lawsuit, Murphy alleges that a “coordinated effort among state officials to clear the path for NYAP’s proposal” was conducted before a request for proposal could be submitted by Empire State Development. The NYAP—New York Arena Partners—is made up of the Islanders franchise, the Wilpon Family, and the Oakview Group. In addition to the Floral Park lawsuit, the members of Belmont Park Community Coalition have stated that they will file their own lawsuit against the project.


Honorable Mention

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP: Ethan Klingsberg (Corporate Law, 2013) has been hired by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP. In their effort to become one of the upper-echelon deal-making advisors in the United States, Freshfields will hire three members of Klinsberg’s team as they leave Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. “We are excited to be joining Freshfields’ blue chip platform,” Klingsberg said in a statement. “The service that we and our new colleagues at Freshfields will bring to clients promises to be awesome.” According to statistics from Bloomberg, Freshfields’ mergers and acquisitions practice was ranked 14th in the United States this year. The total revenue for the 114 deals they have completed is more than $205 billion.

Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton: E. Gail Suchman (Environmental Law; Energy Law, 2018) joined Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP as a partner in the firm’s real estate, land use, and environmental practice group. "Helping clients navigate environmental and energy issues is a key component of our real estate practice and Gail’s substantial knowledge and deep understanding in these areas complements and strengthens our existing capabilities. She’s a perfect addition to our growing presence on the East Coast," said Nancy Scull, leader of the firm’s real estate, land use, and environmental practice.


Update: A previous version of this article erroneously reported that Daniel Rodgers (Admiralty and Maritime Law, 2018) of Watson Farley & Williams represented a group of Montauk baymen and fishermen impacted by a wind farm deal. This section has since been retracted.