Ailing WTC Cops Sue City
Daily News, June, 5, 2004
Two NYPD detectives are claiming in a new lawsuit that the city failed to protect them from toxic fumes at Ground Zero and from 9/11 debris at Fresh Kills landfill.
Detective John Walcott, 39, who has terminal cancer, and his partner in the narcotics division, Richard Volpe, 36, who has developed kidney disease, want “substantial” compensation from the city for their grave illnesses, their lawyer said yesterday.
The suit was filed in Manhattan Federal Court on Thursday.
"These are otherwise young, healthy, athletic men who were working full-time plus overtime on the force, and working on their own time," said their lawyer, Richard Vecchio, of the firm Worby Vecchio Edelman,LLP.
“It’s coming out that the different chemicals and toxins emergency workers were exposed to are making a lot of people sick,” Vecchio said.
The city’s law department refused comment yesterday.
Police unions have identified more than a dozen officers with cancer they claim developed after 9/11. Dozens more have developed kidney problems and sarcoidosis, a lung disability.
Last month, Walcott was featured prominently in a Daily News story about cops who have developed cancers they blame on the toxins released after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Medical experts are skeptical that cancerous tumors could develop so quickly, but doctors have testified that kidney and lung disease are rampant in cops and firefighters.