FDNY Ordered to Review 9/11 Firefighter's Death

An appeals court yesterday ordered the FDNY's medical board to reconsider whether heart and lung damage a firefighter suffered as a 9/11 responder contributed to his drowning death.

Lt. Cruz Fernandez, a 24-year FDNY veteran retired in November 2002 after spending long hours at the World Trade Center site.

In 2006, Fernandez collapsed and drowned in shallow water during a beachside family picnic at Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

His pension died with him.

His widow, Jackie Kaht Fernandez, applied for a disability pension in her husband's name, claiming his exposure to Ground Zero led to a heart attack that contributed to his drowning.

The Appellate Division yesterday called the FDNY's rejection of her bid "arbitrary and capricious."

Republished with permission of The New York Post

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