Fat Cat Trial Lawyers Benefit The Most From 9/11 Health Care Bill

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 23: Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) (C) speaks to celebrate passage of the James Zadroga Bill while flanked by (L-R) Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Rep. Peter King (R-NY), and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) December 23, 2010 on the edge of Ground Zero in New York City. Congress passed the $4.3 billion bill to further healthcare to people who became sick after working and living in the World Trade Center dust in the aftermath of the September 2001 terror attacks. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

Fat cat trial lawyers who are also, no doubt, big money Democrat contributors to boot.

The law firm that pocketed more than $100 million suing the city over Sept. 11 is trying to cash in on the just-passed Zadroga 9/11 health bill.

The hunt was on even before the House put its final stamp of approval on the $4.3 billion James Zadroga Health and Compensation Act last Wednesday – and long before President Obama signs it next week.

Ads began popping up touting Zadroga-Act.com with the tease: “WTC Compensation Fund: Free Consultation. Call Us Today.” Clicking on that link, though, doesn’t take you to a do-gooder advice site. It leads to the website of Worby Groner Edelman & Napoli Bern, the lawyers who represented most of the 10,000 9/11 plaintiffs and grabbed the bulk of the $150 million in contingency fees – about 25% – from the $625 million settlement.

A source said the firm also sent text messages to the phones of their 9/11 clients. Responders found the quick strike for new clients and paydays unsavory.

“Ten million each, or whatever they each cleared, wasn’t enough for them?” said John Feal, a Ground Zero construction worker and leading advocate.

A source familiar with the legal dealings was disgusted the firm is using the Zadroga name to drum up business: “They really have no shame,” the source said.

Another expert involved in settlements was more charitable, but agreed what’s going on looks like “ambulance chasing.”

“It’s not unethical and it’s perfectly legal, but I’m a little surprised,” the legal eagle said. “It’s bad judgment, and it’s what gets lawyers in trouble with the public.”

Marc Bern, one of the top partners at the firm and a veteran class-action warrior, reacted angrily to the suggestion the speedy client-seeking is unseemly. He said the online ads didn’t start running until the House voted on the bill – but the firm clearly was prepared to jump.

Mr. Bern, by the way, gave $85,000 to Democrats in the 2008 election cycle.

I’m as sympathetic to 9/11 victims as the next person, but at what point have we stopped doing the right thing and begun servicing a sympathetic new victim group that is being manipulated by the trial lawyer industry for profit? The 9/11 was nearly a decade ago. In reality, 9/11 victims have been well cared for. But politically they are a sympathetic and unassailable constituency, and the trial lawyers are going to keep beating that horse until it’s dead.

It’s disgusting, really. I don’t have a problem with profits. I do have a problem with unscrupulous hucksters manipulating the nation’s sympathies to cash in on spending our federal government can ill afford.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • http://sayanythingblog.com Mountainmouth

    Hard to believe that all the hot air, rhetoric and hyperbole was just another Democrap scam.

    What are the odds – you think they would be able. to tell the truth (even accidentally)sooner or later.

    Words have no meaning to the Democrat/Alinskyites and they certainly have no shame.

  • robert108

    When you generate “profits” from public money through forcible redistribution for social engineering purposes, you create a bubble and distort the flow of resources.

  • http://twitter.com/NaCaWo NaCaWo

    I believe the law firms will find the profit potential a lot less than when they originally started their trolling. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) insisted on major concessions before the bill passed, which included a 10 percent cap on lawyer fees.

    The earlier House bill had a pricetag of $7.4 billion; the total cost has been reduced to $4.2 billion. It’s a much better bill.

    Here’s Coburn’s news release: http://coburn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/pressreleases?ContentRecord_id=52c01292-8b0c-43d6-b4dc-9796db3edb58

  • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

    It leads to the website of Worby Groner Edelman & Napoli Bern, the lawyers who represented most of the 10,000 9/11 plaintiffs and grabbed the bulk of the $150 million in contingency fees – about 25% – from the $625 million settlement.

    $625 sounds like they did some good to me. Leave it to Rob to complain about the capitalist system we live in when the politics are making their side look bad.

    It’s not about the companies ability to do a good job, and earn a profit for it. It’s about covering up the Republicans efforts to hurt the 9/11 first responders and victims. Pathetic!

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Your superficial response is part of the problem.

      The 9/11 victims have already gotten plenty of money. Enough is enough.

  • http://flamemeister.com flamemeister

    I was going to ask ellinas what the Greek would be for “lawyerocracy”—which I would still like to know—but I also checked it out on Google, and—sure enough—it looks like “lawyerocracy” has already entered the language.

    • borborygmi

      does the definition start out with; scum sucking leeches……

  • mikemc1970

    SURPRISE SURPRISE SURPRISE!!!

    Human leech trial lawyers trying to keep their fingers in the government money honey pot. thank God for Senators like Tom Coburn, if only more were like him.

  • Neiman

    Personally, I am shocked, stunned and amazed that lawyers would desire to profit from the tragedy and the health care bill. :)

    • Dakotacyr

      I, too am shocked, shocked I say, that the health insurance companies would desire to profit from the tragedy and the health care bill. :)

      • Neiman

        Why would you be shocked that profit making companies to stay in business and pay dividends to their stockholders, many union funds and individual retirement accounts, would want to continue making profits and continue thereby to contribute to our capitalistic society?

        • Dakotacyr

          Law firms are small businesses and corporations, so your argument applies to them as well. so why are you shocked that law corporations and small businesses law practices need profits as well to stay in business and pay dividends to their stockholders, and IRAs and continue thereby to contribute to our capitalistic society?

          • Neiman

            Nice bit of sophistry!

            Their business are usually so small as to not have investors, stockholders or IRA’s outside their own and with growth a few employees, That is not the kind of businesses like insurance companies that are relied upon by many large investor groups for their retirements and other income needs. They are in different categories altogether.

            The point of this article is that government is mostly populated by lawyers, even most elected or appointed officials that, pass such laws to enrich fellow lawyers and pad their own wallets. It is a perverse system or lawyers writing laws to benefit lawyers.

          • http://ndgoon.blogspot.com Goon

            Yeah but the Dems seem to like the sleaze ball slip and fall lawyers… Also, funny is that the slip and fall lawyers are the reason health care rates went up before the Obumble administration rammed his death care through the house and senate. Wasn’t Jon Edwards one of these dirt bags?

      • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

        Health insurance companies provide a service. They don’t leech off of producers by gaming the political system to create laws that they can then use to sue.

        • http://ndgoon.blogspot.com Goon

          Yet the left is trying to kill the insurance industry and go to a single payer system. Obumble care is just the fist step.

  • http://usb3gvn.com USB 3G

    Well, interesting post,
    thanks!

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