Most people know the term “FBI” as the acronym for Federal Bureau of Investigation. But there is an added meaning to these letters. The letters “F,” “B,” and “I” also serve as the organization’s motto: “Fidelity. Bravery. Integrity.” On September 11, 2001, and in the months that followed, many members of the FBI proved to be living proof behind the meaning of this motto. Unfortunately, today many of these heroes are facing the toughest fight of their lives – a diagnosis of cancer.
First responders of every kind were on the scene of the World Trade Center in New York, NY, and at the Pentagon in Arlington, VA, immediately after the 9/11 attacks. Police officers, firefighters, medics, and others – some of whom included agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Sadly, many of these men and women must now live with – or attempt to live with – an illness or cancer they developed as a result of their service on that day and the months afterward. What is sadder, still, is that many have not survived.
It was reported by Jay Jackson, writing for Big News Network, that the death toll of FBI first responders who answered the call on 9/11 had risen to a total of 16. William “Homer” Lewis, an electronics technician and engineer at the FBI Academy, passed away on April 3, succumbing to a sickness that was the result of the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon. Mr. Jackson’s article contains a quote by David Bowdich, the Deputy Director of the FBI: “Our folks responded without concerns for themselves.” This indeed echoes the motto of “Fidelity. Bravery. Integrity.”
Additionally, as of this writing, there are 40 members of the FBI who are undergoing treatment for a related sickness. The grim reality is that over time, there will likely be more. For this reason, Jean O’Conner, a special agent in the Washington Field Office of the FBI, urges all first responders who served at the sites of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks to register for a 9/11 claim – regardless of whether they currently feel sick or not. As frightening as it may sound, months and years can go by before signs of cancer or other types of illness begin to appear and take their toll.
The deadline to submit a claim is December 18, 2020, but if you or someone you know may have been affected, act now. There are currently thousands of claims which are being reviewed, and there is no question that many more are to follow. By registering for a 9/11 claim, eligibility to file for the future (should that be necessary) is ensured. Another point that must be considered is the amount of any possible award.
The money allocated to the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) – which was established for the purpose of aiding victims and their families – is dwindling. Those who have filed 9/11 claims that are still pending, unfortunately may not receive the amount initially promised to them. Steps are underway to rectify this situation, but nothing is guaranteed.
Members of congress are working to have important bipartisan legislation passed – “Never Forget the Heroes: Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act,” HR.1327/ S.546. If this proposed legislation passes, it will ensure those who have become sick on account of a 9/11-related sickness or injury will receive complete monetary compensation. Additionally, action can be taken through clicking on this link, which will provide contact information to members of Congress, as well as where they stand on this issue.
Turley Hansen & Rosasco, LLP is a New York-based law firm devoted to victims, survivors, and families of first responders – which include FBI agents – who have been stricken with 9/11-related cancers. We can register a claim – for free – for members of the FBI, even if they are not sick now. If you or someone you know is currently sick, call 1-855-WTC-INFO (1-855-353- 4907) – today – for a free WTC Victim Compensation Fund case evaluation.