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Former Utica fire chief will appeal lawsuit dismissal for 'other first responders'

Russell Brooks says the World Trade Center Health Organization determined his leukemia was the result of him being at ground zero.

Posted: May 31, 2019 5:45 PM

UTICA, N.Y. -- Former Utica Fire Chief Russell Brooks spoke for the first time since learning his lawsuit against the city was dismissed.

Brooks filed a lawsuit after the city of Utica denied his application for 9/11 medical benefits, which in part, grants sick time to world trade center responders.

Brooks says the World Trade Center Health Organization determined his leukemia was the result of him being at ground zero.

A state Supreme Court judge dismissed his lawsuit, and now Brooks says this is not over.

“There is a saying that you can't beat city hall. I found out that I was up against, not only the mayor, but ten city lawyers that all were against me. But that doesn't mean I’m giving up. I’m going to the Appellate Court. I’m going to appeal this. And it's something I have to do, and the reason I have to do it is for other first responders,” said Brooks.

The Corporation Counsel for the city says Brooks has been provided with everything to which he is legally entitled.

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