NY Chief Sues Over 9/11 Related Illness

The fire chief in Utica was in court yesterday pressing the city to have his leukemia treated as a 9/11 related illness.

Fire Chief Russell Brooks filed suit against the City of Utica and Mayor Robert Palmieri for denying his claim that his chronic lymphocytic leukemia was brought on by his work at the World Trade Center in 2001. He has been out on leave since May, 2017.

The city has taken the position that there is no proof that Chief Brook’s condition is job related. In court yesterday, Chief Brook’s attorney, Earl Redding, argued that the World Trade Center Health Program had determined that his condition was 911 related, and agreed to assume responsibility for the costs.

Chief Brooks was quoted by the Times Telegram as saying “It was an acknowledgment that I had a work-related injury and it was documented by a national organization. They did a complete analysis with the best doctors, best scientists, best lab people in the country said that, ‘This condition you have is related to your activities at ground zero.”

Here is a link to video coverage.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
  • Fiona O’downey

    Excellent for the Chief who is a fine upstanding citizen and a gilt edged fire fighter. I wish him wellness and long life.

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