A father of two who developed throat cancer after spending 16 hours a day for six months removing toxic debris from buildings next to Ground Zero claims that he received a check for $0 to compensate him for his work-related injuries.
Soon after he finished working on the site, Edgar Galvis, 51, developed sleeping problems as well as chronic rhinosinusitis, which is a combination of rhinitis and sinusitis.
Galvis then filed a claim against Merrill Lynch, the company for which he removed the debris, seeking compensation for his medical treatments after a friend connected him with the law firm Worby, Groner, Edelman & Napoli Bern, which was helping many other 9/11 workers get compensation for their injuries, reports the Daily Mail.
An attorney from the firm paid him an encouraging visit at his home, he told the Mail.
"The man told me that more than likely I will get sick and I would get 60 per cent of whatever he won. He even mentioned the words 'millions of dollars'"
Just four months after receiving a $10,000 offer, Galvis found out he had throat cancer but, according to the firm, it was too late for him to add that malady to his claim.
Despite the setback, Galvis was "relieved" to receive his settlement check in the mail since he was already sinking under $30,000 of debt, reports News.com.
However, relief quickly turned to shock when he realized the check was for a grand total of $0.00.
Where did it all of the money go? The New York Post did the math:
"His award had been $10,005, but his lawyers at the firm Worby, Groner, Edelman & Napoli Bern lopped off $2,579 for unitemized legal expenses.
Then they took a 33.3 percent fee of $2,124.
They also subtracted $352, a fee to the lawyer who referred him.
The remaining $4,950 was withheld for unspecified "liens," the letter says."
"I have hit rock bottom," Mr Galvis told the Daily Mail. "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."
In an email to the Post, attorney Paul Napoli said that Galvis had already gotten "tens of thousands of dollars" in other claims, but Galvis maintains that he has not received a "single dollar" from the firm.