New York City’s largest police union has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a 36-year-old officer suffering from a disease he claims he developed while working at the World Trade Center site after the devastation of 9/11.
The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA), in a civil lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, states the Officer was diagnosed with sarcoidosis and Lofgren’s syndrome, a form of sarcoidosis, in March 2004, but that the NYPD refused to declare him line-of-duty designation on three seperate occassions.
The Officer worked 111 hours at the Ground Zero hot zone. Sarcoidosis is a multi-system inflammatory disease that commonly involves the lungs.
The PBA alleges, as a result of the Police Department’s decision, the Officer was made responsible for the medical bills he incurred that would have otherwise been covered under line-of-duty status.
When he was unable to come up with the money needed to pay his medical bills, one provider sued him for $3,094 and settled out of court for $1,625.
The PBA noted that 20 firefighters stationed at Ground Zero were later diagnosed with sarcoidosis and were granted full benefits.
“It adds insult to the suffering of this officer, who has been denied this status while the firefighters with whom he worked shoulder to shoulder at the WTC have been granted the line of duty status for the same illness,” said the PBA president.