Failure to work under authorized entity dooms shoe shiner's volunteer claim
WTC Volunteer, 109 NYWCLR 86 (N.Y. W.C.B. Panel 2009).
Ruling: A New York Workers' Compensation Board panel found that a shoe shiner who helped wheel carts of donated food to the checkpoints near ground zero was not a ground zero volunteer as defined in the revised legislative order.
What it means:
In order to qualify as a volunteer under the revised legislative order passed in response to 9/11, a worker must work for an authorized rescue entity or volunteer agency.
Summary: A shoe shiner alleged he volunteered at ground zero and was exposed to dust and toxins, which resulted in his breathing problems, post-traumatic stress disorder, and a brain cyst. A panel found that even though the worker helped wheel carts of donated food to the checkpoints, he was not a ground zero volunteer. He admittedly did not work for the fire department, police, or any other government agency. The evidence indicated that the worker cleaned up for neighbors and did not work under any authorized rescue entity or volunteer agency. The revised order provides uninsured employer's fund benefits for individuals who volunteered and were injured while performing services at the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
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August 31, 2009
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