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Can Govt. Officials Be Personally Sued ?

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Magoo_Mr.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

.

I saw this last week and do NOT want to make it a political issue, but a ... "TRUTH & LIABILITY ISSUE" ... for some "hazardous materials claims" that have been mentioned on this site

I want to address the issue of .. "Govt' and/or Personal Liability" .. ie .. while EPA Chief is performing in an .. "Official Govt Position" ?????

This primarily has to do with liability during 9-11 and what areas were safe and what the EPA told the people at the time .... but this could possibly apply to other "hazardous material" areas also ?????

If the EPA could make this big of a mistake or lie ... with perhaps 1000s of people after 9-11 (in the civilian world) ... well ... do you really think that DoD via EPA (DoD consults with EPA) is going to be up front with the troops on hazardous materials situations .. that the troops were exposed to & ramifications of those exposures ?????

This poses a VERY serious threat in .. "Believing the Govt" .. with possible future attacks, military hazards, civilian hazards, or storm related damages to hazardous material sites.

... WHAT ARE WE TO BELIEVE IN THE FUTURE ... ?????

Link --> http://cnn.netscape.cnn.com/news/story.jsp...649.htm&sc=1110

Text of news article below -->

---------o------------

Judge Slams Ex-EPA Chief Over Sept. 11

By LARRY NEUMEISTER

NEW YORK (AP) - A federal judge blasted former Environmental Protection Agency chief Christine Todd Whitman on Thursday for reassuring New Yorkers soon after the Sept. 11 attacks that it was safe to return to their homes and offices while toxic dust was polluting the neighborhood.

U.S. District Judge Deborah A. Batts refused to grant Whitman immunity against a class-action lawsuit brought in 2004 by residents, students and workers in lower Manhattan and Brooklyn who said they were exposed to hazardous materials from the destruction of the World Trade Center.

``No reasonable person would have thought that telling thousands of people that it was safe to return to lower Manhattan, while knowing that such return could pose long-term health risks and other dire consequences, was conduct sanctioned by our laws,'' the judge said.

She called Whitman's actions ``conscience-shocking,'' saying the EPA chief knew that the collapse of the twin towers released tons of hazardous materials into the air.

Whitman had no comment, according to a spokeswoman. A Justice Department spokesman said the government had no comment.

Spokeswoman Mary Mears said the EPA was reviewing the opinion but was pleased that the court had dismissed two of four civil claims against the agency, including allegations brought under the federal Superfund law.

``The EPA will continue to vigorously defend against the outstanding claims,'' she said.

The judge let the lawsuit proceed against the EPA and Whitman, permitting the plaintiffs to try to prove that the agency and its administrator endangered their health.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and reimbursement for cleanup costs and asks the court to order that a medical monitoring fund be set up to track the health of those exposed to trade center dust.

In her ruling, Batts noted that the EPA and Whitman said repeatedly - beginning just two days after the attack - that the air appeared safe to breathe. The EPA's internal watchdog later found that the agency, at the urging of White House officials, gave misleading assurances.

Quoting a ruling in an earlier case, the judge said a public official cannot be held personally liable for putting the public in harm's way unless the conduct was so egregious as ``to shock the contemporary conscience.'' Given her role in protecting the health and environment for Americans, Whitman's reassurances after Sept. 11 were ``without question conscience-shocking,'' Batts said.

Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., said in a statement that New Yorkers are still depending on the federal government to describe any ongoing risk from contaminants.

``I continue to believe that the White House owes New Yorkers an explanation,'' she said.

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a Democrat whose district includes the trade center site, said the many people who worked at the site and developed respiratory diseases deserve answers.

``It is my assumption that thousands of people - workers and residents - are being slowly poisoned today because these workplaces and residences were never properly cleaned up,'' Nadler said in a telephone interview.

------------------------o----------End Of Article ----------------o-------------------

... Magoo.. aka .. Bill ... ;)

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Mr. Magoo,

In 1993 I sued the LAPD. I sued the Officers individually and the LAPD as their employer. Through my attorney I learned that you can sue for gross incompetence, fraud, willful and malicious conduct. I prevailed in a pretrial settlement conference.

When Social Security denied my disability I sent a letter to the guy who signed it notifying him that I thought he must hve lied about his qualifications to get his jib. I also mentioned that he was following a department policy to deniy otherwise valid claims. My disabilities were so obviously capable of qualifying for SSD that he was either incompent or a liar. I told him I was coming after his house, his swimming pool and his kids college fund. My claim was forwarded to an attorney advisor by the SSA. I was on social secirity within a month. The attorney I hired told me it would take a year and a half to see an administrative law judge.

The VA denied my claim saying their was evidence the disease was the result of post service employment. They did not specifically cite what the evidence was. After going through a 3 foot high stack of papers I found the doctors report they used to make their determination. It was clearly for a different and unrelated condition. I wrote a letter explaining their mistake and my case sat at the RO for another two years. I told my SO that they fabricated evidence and I was tired of their BS. I told him I was on my way to the inspector generals office to file a fraud complaint. The VA service connected me within 30 days.

Vietnam Veterans were given an award that I believe was an out of court settlement of a class action suit for agent orange. The claim was against the Dow Corporation.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

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Hoppy:

I like your style.

IF .. we could make more of them .. ALL GOVT OFFICIALS .. more personally liabel for their actions or lack thereof .. there would be a lot less mistakes and BS.

The one that I would take to court first would be some of the Bozos in Alaska and the .. 2 Bridges to Nowhere" ... and how various members of their families own land and they will personally benefit from those .. "2 Expensive Bridges To Nowhere"".

The "conservative radio media" here was reporting about those .. "2 Bridges" .. and the number of insiders ...... ie.. Several Members of Congress, Governor's wife, son in law lobbist and other family members that would benefit from those "2 Bridges" is astounding. You would not believe how many people in DC and Alaska are involved in this mess up there ???

The news media has just touched the .. "Tip Of That Iceburg" .. (no pun intended) .. on those .. "2 Bridges To No Where" .. in Alaska.

...Magoo .. aka .. Bill ... ;)

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I sure like Hoppy's style too----

when you are right you just have to fight back-

"The claim was against the Dow Corporation." Yes- The AO settlement Fund-

I received a check from them and Rod got 2-3 checks- long ago----

they denied many vets right off the bat- you had to appeal the decision and they caved in.

The requirement was the vet had to have a total disability, regardless of what it was.

Then they had to pinpoint on a map of Vietnam where and when they felt they were exposed.

It is ironic to me now-decades later- to see that the VA has determined ALL in country vets were exposed.

And that some AO disabilities have a latency period.

A vet today with 100% due to AO cannot get any money out of the AO Dow Fund.There isnt any left.

That is so unfair.

What always bothered me is that- the chem cos were liable but our gov shipped this stuff over and put servicemen and women into Harm's way-it seems to me that is where the ultimate liability lies-

Then it took decades for the VA to determine what diseases and disabilities the exposure caused.

I do not believe that the VA is done with AO diseases.

I bet they add more to the list-I just hope all AO vets live long enough to see that happen.

(some of my vets thought it was mosquito spray but then a whole tropical forest would disappear in days from the spraying. The VC weren't even in the forests-they were in the tunnels-they must have thought this attempt to draw them out of the brush was ludicrous.)

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