Bravest Want 9/11 Negligence Suit Extension

Firefighters who claim they got sick working at Ground Zero want a federal court to extend the deadline for filing negligence suits against the city, according to papers submitted yesterday.September 29, 2004 -- Firefighters who claim they got sick...


Firefighters who claim they got sick working at Ground Zero want a federal court to extend the deadline for filing negligence suits against the city, according to papers submitted yesterday.September 29, 2004 -- Firefighters who claim they got sick working at Ground Zero want a federal court to extend the deadline for filing negligence suits against the city, according to papers submitted yesterday.

Typically, a plaintiff has 90 days from the date of the related incident to file a notice of claim with the city of an intention to sue. Plaintiffs then have a 15-month deadline to sue the city for damages. That means the firefighters should have technically sued the city by early 2003.

But some city employees say they only recently realized that they suffer from serious respiratory illnesses and other maladies that were not evident before the deadline. Among them is FDNY Capt. Joseph Murphy of Engine 238, who was assigned to Ground Zero after the Twin Towers toppled. Murphy said health tests conducted by the Fire Department in February found he suffers from "clinical asthma with airway hyperactivity."

The Fire Department's medical board found "his respiratory disability is permanent and related to his 9/11-WTC exposures," court papers filed in Manhattan federal court said.

Murphy, along with other uniformed officers who filed a separate class action suit, charges that the city failed to provide him with proper respiratory equipment. The city's Law Department said it is reviewing the case.