After a year-long struggle, the state’s Workers’ Compensation Board ruled in favor of Daniel Arrigo, an ailing Ground Zero worker, forcing insurance giant Zurich North America to finally pay his just claim. Arrigo, the married father of three, has now received a check for nearly $20,000 in back payments from Zurich. The New York Daily News highlighted his plight in May and that must have gotten the public’s attention as well as that of the insurer. The deserving claimant said after his ordeal:
It’s despicable how the government and insurance companies make sick people fight so hard and wait so long for what is due them. Thank God and thank the Daily News.
Zurich insured Tishman Construction, which employed the construction worker at a location at Ground Zero for four months after the Sept. 11 attacks. The worker was later diagnosed with severe lung disease from the toxic dust and vapors he inhaled at the site. He finally gave up his job in January 2008 when he could no longer bend down to tie his boots without gasping for breath. Sick and unemployed, Arrigo fell behind on his rent and he and his family were evicted from their Staten Island home. They were forced to move into two cramped rooms with the worker’s brother.
In addition to the $20,000, Zurich has to pay over $400 a week to Arrigo and provide health coverage. This man is far from out of the woods healthwise and must undergo a lung biopsy in August. It’s a shame and disgrace for an insurance company to treat a man who needs help in this manner. Arrigo called himself a “poster boy” for thousands of sick 9/11 responders who have been caught between the slow-moving state compensation board and insurance firms that skillfully “game the system” to fight claims.
Source: New York Daily News
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