Ground Zero Worker Gets $0 from Settlement

A Ground Zero worker who now suffers from throat cancer and sinus problems won a court settlement with Merrill Lynch but was stunned to receive a check for $0 after legal expenses and fees The New York Post reports.

Edgar Galvis, a 51-year-old from Glendale, won $10,005 in the settlement against Merrill Lynch for his work removing debris from the building after 911. Galvis was left with nothing when his lawyers at Worby, Groner; Edelman and Napoli Bern took out the following expenses –  $2,579 for unitemized legal expenses, a 33.3 percent fee that amounted to $2,124, $352 to the lawyer who referred him and $4,950 for unspecified liens.

“I have hit rock bottom,” Galvis told The New York Post. “I was expecting a check, and you can imagine how I felt when I opened it. I couldn’t believe it. I thought it was a joke.”

Galvis, who came to New York in February 2011 from Bogota, Colombia, began working for Merrill Lynch after the terrorist attacks, clearing rubble and dust from the surrounding area. He worked 16 hours a day for six months. After suffering from chronic rhinosinusitis and sleep disorders, he made a claim.

He got a $10,000 settlement in April 2010. A letter from the firm told him to expect $5,000 after expenses and fees were subtracted. The letter also said that if he decided to go on trial, he could end up owing the firm up to $100,000 if he lost. Galvis accepted the settlement.

August that year he was diagnosed with throat cancer.

“I think they are taking advantage of the ignorance of people such as myself,” Galvin said.

by Shannon Farrell





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