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A New York court Thursday denied workers’ compensation benefits for a World Trade Center official who rushed from home on Sept. 11, 2001, to help rescue victims of the terrorist attack, saying he was ineligible because he hadn’t been ordered to the scene. The Appellate Division of the state Supreme Court ruled against Christopher Duff’s workers’ compensation claims for psychological injuries. “The man was the property manager for the World Trade Center,” said one of Duff’s attorneys, Robert Grey. “We don’t understand the finding that he was not in the course of his employment.” Grey said he may appeal, but added that the ruling preserves the former state worker’s claim to federal compensation for respiratory and psychological problems as a volunteer. Jon Sullivan, a spokesman for the Workers’ Compensation Board, said the board will work with Duff to help him obtain the federal benefits. “While the Appellate Division did affirm that the board clearly acted in accordance with the law, we are concerned for this individual and hope for his continued recovery,” Sullivan said. Duff was property manager for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the government agency that owns the trade center site. He had permission to be home the morning of the attacks to meet workers who were to make repairs to his bathroom, Grey said. After learning one of the towers had been hit, Duff traveled to the World Trade Center site and saw the second tower fall, the court decision stated. “Breathing in dust and smoke, he ran for his life and later became physically ill. He then returned every day throughout the following week, as a volunteer, to assist in the rescue efforts,” the decision said. But the appeals panel added that Duff conceded that his employer hadn’t asked him to go to the site. Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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