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Michael Barasch

Michael  Barasch

11 Park Place
Suite 1801
New York, New York 10007
United States

Telephone: 212 385 8000
Firm: Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson
Practice Overview:
More than a decade after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 shocked the world, many rescue and recovery personnel and Lower Manhattan workers and residents who were exposed to toxins from the World Trade Center site are still living a nightmare. Every day, Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson, P.C. observes how cancer, respiratory disorders and other disabling and deadly diseases linked to the exposure continue to devastate families.

With our downtown office located near City Hall, just a few short blocks from the site, our lawyers and staff acutely felt the impact of the tragedy. We continue to do so with every post-9/11 victim we help.

Trust us to help. You have nothing to risk and so much to gain. We offer free initial consultations and do not charge you anything until you receive a settlement from the Victim Compensation Fund. Our fees never exceed 10 percent of your settlement.

We assist injured clients from all over the country, including retired FDNY members and NYPD officers who have since moved away from New York. If you do not live near New York City or are unable to travel, we arrange your first, free consultation by telephone.

New York

Professional Profile:
After over a decade of trying major personal injury cases, I joined forces with Jim McGarry, one of my law school classmates. We have won hundreds of millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements on behalf of thousands of accident victims, many of them catastrophically injured. There is no more gratifying feeling than when a jury awards an amount of money that will change a client’s life forever. We have been lead counsel in several multi-plaintiff litigations.

I am especially proud of the work that we have done on behalf of injured New York City firefighters. Our firm has won many landmark decisions that have shaped the law on their behalf. After helping scores of firefighters receive awards in their individual cases, our firm was thrust into the legal problems of those killed and injured in the World Trade Center attacks. We represented the families of dozens of firefighters killed as well as over 1,000 first responders who sustained permanent respiratory illnesses from the toxic dust at the WTC site. Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein appointed me as liaison counsel on behalf of all rescue workers injured or killed. We worked closely with Kenneth Feinberg, the Special Master of the Victim Compensation Fund, to expand the rules of the Air Transportation Safety and Systems Stabilization Act. Once the injured rescue workers were permitted to make claims to the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF), we discontinued their pending cases in Federal Court and brought them all to the VCF. We appealed more than 400 initial awards and participated in hearings before Mr. Feinberg and Department of Justice attorneys and Administrative Court Judges. The VCF stopped accepting new claims on December 22, 2003. All payments were made by the middle of 2004.

Since the VCF closed, our law firm fought to reopen the VCF because so many of our clients continued to be diagnosed with new respiratory illnesses caused by the toxic dust, and/or they were found disabled after they had received an award for a non-disabling injury. We were delighted that in December 2010, Congress passed the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 (Zadroga Act). In January 2011 President Obama signed it into law. The new Fund was named in honor of our client, NYPD Detective Jimmy Zadroga, who died of pulmonary disease in 2006. An autopsy confirmed that his lungs had been damaged by WTC toxins. This was concrete medical evidence that advocates could use to help convince Congress to reopen the VCF. As a result, $2.4 billion has been made available for medical care and $2.7 billion has been set aside for compensation to those whose health has gotten worse since 2003. Claimants must register by October 3, 2013 and the Fund is set to close in October, 2016. That is when Sheila Birnbaum, the Fund’s Special Master, is supposed to make final payments. We currently represent more than 5,000 sick first responders and residents.

Michael Barasch worked tirelessly with lawmakers, 9/11 advocates and union leaders for the passage of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (known as the Zadroga Act, in honor of our client, NYPD Detective James Zadroga). Congress provided $2.4 billion for health care and $2.77 billion for compensation for first responders and WTC residents who have been stricken with 9/11-related illnesses. Since its passage in January, 2011, NIOSH has recognized a link between the WTC toxic dust and 67 cancers. Our law firm represents nearly 10,000 claimants who are receiving life-saving medical treatment and who are entitled to compensation for their illnesses and lost income. When the Act was passed, Congress stipulated that the health care and compensation would stop in October, 2016. We are fighting to keep the program open, so that people who desperately need assistance are not left to shoulder their burdens alone.

UndergraduateSwarthmore CollegeB.A.1977
LawFordham University School of LawJ.D.1980

Affiliations & Memberships:
Admission Details:
1981, New York
1982, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
1982, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
1993, U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
1994, U.S. Supreme Court

Associations & Memberships:
New York State Trial Lawyers Association
American Association for Justice (formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America)
American Bar Association
American Trial Lawyers Association
New York City Bar Association
New York State Bar Association
Panel member of the New York State Bar Association's Legal Referral Service
Member, Public Justice

Personal Injury
Premises Liability
Construction Accidents
Railroad Law
Firefighter Law
Post 9/11 Illnesses & Cancers