Although the total number of claims has decreased over the past year, the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks have triggered a flood of legal claims by workers against the city, according to a report released by City Comptroller Bill Thompson Tuesday.
The report says the number of claims fell to just over 24,000 for the last fiscal year, with the city paying out about $$525 million, or $$55 million less than the year before. The number of claims is the lowest in 11 years.
However, the report shows that in the fiscal year 2001, only 171 members of the uniformed services sued the city. In the fiscal year 2002, which ended Monday, the number of lawsuits ballooned to 1,194.
By far, most of the lawsuits are being filed by firefighters, many of whom are seeking compensation from the city for illnesses suffered after work at the World Trade Center site.
“Because of the time that was spent over at Ground Zero and the work that was done, there are a number of people that are saying they are suffering, whether it's respiratory problems or other problems, as an after-effect of the work that was done there and what they felt was inadequate equipment that didn't protect them fully,” said Thompson.
Claims by police officers have also more than doubled, the report says.
to read the full report.