Reopening of Sept. 11 illness fund urged
Apr 01,2009 00:00 by UPI

WASHINGTON -- The former head of the compensation fund for responders to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack in New York urged the federal government to reopen it.

Ken Feinberg told a House subcommittee Tuesday some 11,000 people have been forced to go to court to seek assistance for health problems that developed in the years since they worked at Ground Zero.

"The only reason they're litigating is because the Sept. 11 fund compensated their brethren, but could not compensate them before it expired," Feinberg said. "They would have met all the criteria and they would have been compensated."

Feinberg's urging came as a bill to reopen the Sept. 11 Victims' Compensation Fund for another 22 years is being debated in the U.S. House.

The New York Daily News said some members of the Judiciary subcommittee were skeptical of reopening the process nearly 10 years after the fact; however, supporters of the measure say some diseases stemming from exposures to harmful materials can take years to develop.

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