Joined: Mar 17, 2005
Location: Staten Island
|Posted: Wed May 23, 2007 6:05 pm Post subject: NYC Rules that a Death Was Caused by 9/11 Dust
From Wed May 23, 2007 2:00 am to Sat May 26, 2007 1:59 am (included)
|For Immediate Release Contact: Joe Soldevere (Maloney)
May 23, 2007 202-225-7944
Craig Donner (Fossella)
City of New York, For the First Time,
Rules that a Death Was Caused by 9/11 Dust
-Felicia Dunn-Jones was Trapped in Dust Cloud on 9/11,
Passed Away from Lung Disease Four Months Later-
Reps. Maloney and Fossella Appealed to City Last Year
to Include Dunn-Jones's Name on Official List of 9/11 Deaths
New York, NY - Today, the Medical Examiner of the City of New York confirmed that the City, for the first time, has ruled that a death was caused by exposure to toxins released by the collapse of the World Trade Center towers. The City's Medical Examiner, Dr. Charles Hirsch, had previously said he could not link the death of Felicia Dunn-Jones to WTC dust, but changed his determination following appeals by the victim's family and Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Vito Fossella (R-NY). The City also agreed to add Ms. Dunn-Jones's name to its official list of World Trade Center victims.
In a letter to Richard H. Bennett, the Jones family's attorney (click here for a copy of the letter), Dr. Hirsch stated that "it is likely, with certainty beyond a reasonable doubt, that exposure to WTC dust was harmful to (Ms. Dunn-Jones)... and that exposure to World Trade Center Dust on 9/11/01 was contributory to her death. The manner of death will be changed from natural to homicide."
"The City Medical Examiner has now accepted what thousands of people with 9/11-related illnesses and their doctors have long understood: that Ground Zero dust was harmful and even deadly," said Maloney. "Sadly, we have known that Felicia is not alone and that others have died from ailments caused by 9/11. I hope that the Medical Examiner is no longer in denial about the Trade Center dust. Dr. Hirsch must review the cases of other 9/11 heroes who, like Felicia, died in the prime of their lives."
Fossella said, "Ms. Dunn-Jones's passing at such a young age is a tragedy in itself, but it is magnified by the fact that the 9/11 attacks contributed to her death. The evidence suggests that the toxic air over Ground Zero played a role in Ms. Dunn-Jones's passing. While it took time for the Medical Examiner and others to reach this conclusion, it demonstrates that the health of innocent people was negatively affected by Ground Zero air. This landmark decision should serve as springboard for the federal government to release a comprehensive plan to monitor and treat all those who are sick or injured as a result of 9/11."
Felicia Dunn-Jones, a 42 year-old attorney for the U.S. Department of Education, was trapped in the dust cloud caused by the collapse of the first World Trade Center tower. Four months later, Ms. Dunn-Jones died of sarcoidosis, a rare and debilitating condition that attacks the lungs and other vital organs.
Believing that Felicia's death was caused by her exposure to toxins on 9/11, Ms. Dunn-Jones's family applied for a death benefit through the federal Victim Compensation Fund (VCF). Following testimony in support of the family's application from experts on sarcoidosis including Dr. Alan M. Fein of North Shore University Hospital and Dr. David Prezant, deputy chief medical officer of the New York Fire Department, the VCF confirmed that Ms. Dunn-Jones's death was caused by 9/11 and awarded her family a death benefit of $2.6 million.
In October 2006, Maloney and Fossella wrote to Dr. Hirsch (click here for a copy of the Reps.' letter) urging him to include Dunn-Jones on the City's official list of 9/11 victims. In response, Dr. Hirsch wrote (click here for a copy of Dr. Hirsch's letter) that despite the VCF's determination, his office could not at that time link Felicia's death to WTC dust "with certainty beyond a reasonable doubt."