This week, The New Yorker will have a feature on the James Zadroga's cause of death. The death of Zadroga, an NYPD detective who spent hours working rescue-and-recovery at the WTC site after 9/11, was debated in public--his family and medical experts claimed his death was due to exposure to Ground Zero toxins while the city's medical examiner disputed that, "It is our unequivocal opinion, with certainty beyond doubt, that the foreign material in your son's lungs did not get there as the result of inhaling dust at the World Trade Center or elsewhere."
Instead, the ME said Zadroga's death caused by prescription drug abuse. Even Mayor Bloomberg weighed in, saying Zadroga wasn't a hero (though he later apologized). The Post reports the new evidence in the New Yorker's article "bolsters the city's claim" and shows "little evidence of the lung damage that pathologists say killed him three years later."
According to the NY Times, "the case has important policy implications because the death has been cited by advocates seeking federal compensation for the thousands of rescue workers who responded in the aftermath of the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001." A lawyer for Zadroga's family told the Times the New Yorker article was a “well-written summary” with “no new revelations.” Zadroga's daughter Tyler Ann is orphaned; her mother died during her father's illness and she is being raised by her grandparents.