Skip to content

New York Personal Injury Attorneys

Lung Cancer in 9/11 Survivors and Respondents

September 25, 2023 in ,

The aftermath of 9/11 devastated many. Decades later, survivors and respondents still grapple with lingering health effects, including a heightened risk of developing lung cancer following exposure at the Twin Towers

Below, the experienced attorneys at Sullivan Papain Block McManus Coffinas & Cannavo P.C. describe the history of the lingering health effects in 9/11 survivors and respondents, including lung cancer.

Why Does Lung Cancer Take So Long to Find?

World Trade Center survivors and respondents endured many health challenges following the attacks on Sept. 11. However, diagnosing lung cancer in WTC responders and survivors has proven to be a complex challenge, primarily because of the lengthy delay in detecting the disease.

While many individuals exposed to the toxic dust and debris at Ground Zero were initially asymptomatic, lung cancer often develops silently in its early stages. It can remain undetected for an extended period. The absence of routine lung cancer screening in the general population, limited awareness of early symptoms among survivors, and the tendency for these symptoms to overlap with other respiratory illnesses further complicate timely diagnosis. 

The misdiagnosis of lung cancer can lead to evaluation and treatment delays. Recognizing these challenges and advocating for regular health monitoring and screenings for WTC responders and survivors is crucial in addressing this vulnerable population’s delayed diagnosis of lung cancer.

Causes of Lung Cancer in WTC Survivors

The causes of lung cancer among World Trade Center survivors are multifaceted. Many survivors were exposed to a complex mixture of toxic substances, including asbestos, heavy metals, and various carcinogens, in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Prolonged exposure to these hazardous materials and inhaling dust and debris has been linked to an increased risk of developing lung cancer. Still, the delayed onset of symptoms associated with lung cancer often poses challenges in establishing causation for legal claims. 

For survivors seeking legal recourse, navigating the intricate web of evidence, medical records, and expert testimony is crucial to establishing a clear link between their exposure during the 9/11 response efforts and their subsequent lung cancer diagnosis.  If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with lung cancer following 9/11, the experienced 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund lawyers at SPBMCC stand ready to review your legal concerns and explain your options.

What is the Zadroga Act?

The passing of the VCF Permanent Authorization Act in July 2019 established the Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, better known as the VCF Permanent Authorization Act. 

This act requires the VCF to provide additional payment to individuals who received reduced compensation and also extends the claim deadline until October 1, 2090. The Act certifies that the VCF will have proper funding in the future. With the VCF Permanent Authorization Act, individuals who suffer any of the following 9/11-related health conditions may be entitled to compensation:

  • Acute traumatic injuries like burns and fractures
  • Aerodigestive disorders like sleep apnea and asthma
  • 75 different types of cancer, including female breast cancer and skin cancer
  • Certain musculoskeletal conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome

Our dedicated legal team is here to guide you through your options and advocate for your rightful compensation. If you or a loved one experienced negative health symptoms following the attacks on September 11, please contact us to determine if you may be entitled to 9/11 lung cancer compensation.

Contact the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Lawyers at SPBMCC Today 

Sullivan Papain has worked with the VCF since its inception. We have dealt with over 2,000 related claims since 2002. Our team has a stellar reputation and has successfully secured the highest Victim Compensation Fund award to date. The attorneys at SPBMCC specialize in World Trade Center health-related law and have extensive expertise in medical malpractice, general negligence, motor vehicle accidents, and mass tort cases. If you have any questions about potential VCF claims or the VCF process, please contact us at (212) 732-9000 and speak with one of our experienced lawyers. For more information about SPBMCC’s VCF claim process, click here.

Free Case Evaluation

Our fee is on a contingency basis. If we don’t recover money for you, we will never charge you. If you are unable to come to any of our offices, we are happy to visit you at home or in the hospital.

*Field Required

Contact Information


Skip to content