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Nadler: Decision in 9/11 Lawsuit Highlights Need for Action

 
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DMCKEON
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 8:46 pm    Post subject: Nadler: Decision in 9/11 Lawsuit Highlights Need for Action
From Tue Apr 22, 2008 3:00 am to Fri Apr 25, 2008 2:59 am (included)
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Rep. Nadler: Decision in 9/11 Lawsuit Highlights Need for Federal Action


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, April 22, 2008

CONTACT: Shin Inouye, 202-225-5635


WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY-08), chair of the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties today issued the following statement regarding the Second Circuit Court of Appeal's decision that former Environmental Protect Agency Administrator Christine Todd Whitman is immune from liability for false statements she made about air quality and public safety after the collapse of the World Trade Center in 2001:

"I am deeply disappointed with the Second Circuit's decision. There is a mountain of evidence demonstrating that Ms. Whitman and the Bush administration mislead the public about air quality in the aftermath of the collapse of the World Trade Center. By falsely assuring the public that the air was safe to breathe - when all the evidence indicated that it was in fact extremely hazardous - she caused thousands of residents, workers, and first responders to suffer injury and, in some cases, death due to unnecessary exposure to toxins released by the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings. Much of this evidence has been made public in hearings held last year by Senator Clinton and me.

"Perhaps most upsetting is the court's apparent justification of Ms. Whitman's lies as a 'realistic choice' among 'competing governmental considerations' due to her attempt to 'reassure the public,' even though by doing so she put the public's health in jeopardy. The decision also noted that even if Ms. Whitman knowingly made these false statements, she would still enjoy immunity unless it could be proven that she also intended to harm the victims. If permitted to stand, this interpretation means that government officials in the future can deceive the public and harm thousands of people with impunity. That should shock everyone's conscience.

"Regardless of whether the plaintiffs choose to appeal this ruling, one thing is clear - the federal government needs to act. While these legal cases have been ongoing, the living victims of 9/11 continue to suffer. Congress must pass the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, authored by myself, Congresswoman Maloney and Congressman Fossella, to provide medical care and compensation to thousands of Americans whose health has been compromised. The decision also makes clear that Congress needs to demand a proper test and clean up of the affected areas.

"When the judiciary and the executive fail to provide justice to the living victims of 9/11, it is the moral imperative of Congress to do right. Nearly seven years after 9/11, and the federal government still has not met its obligations. We can, and must, do more."


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Jerrold Nadler has served in Congress since 1992. He represents New York's 8th Congressional District, which includes parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn.
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