N.Y. top court extends 9/11 benefits in 3 NYPD cases

Associated Press

New York’s highest court has upheld claims for enhanced disability and death benefits initially denied for three police officers who claimed their cancers resulted or worsened from rescue, recovery and cleanup work at the World Trade Center after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The Court of Appeals, ruling unanimously Thursday, says New York lawmakers imposed a special burden of proof on the Medical Board of the New York City Police Department Pension Fund, requiring “competent evidence” to rebut the presumption granted disability claims from toxic Ground Zero.

The court says former officers Karen Bitchatchi and Eddie Maldonado are entitled to accidental disability benefits, a tax-free pension at three-quarters salary, instead of the typical taxable one-half pension.

The court says Frank Macri’s widow is entitled to line-of-duty death benefits of his full salary.

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