With his well-documented track record in achieving the most successful outcomes in legal cases, Mr. Napoli rates a score of 10 out of 10 on AVVO, the highest possible ranking from the nation’s leading lawyer referral and rating service. He is well-known for consistently achieving jury awards and settlements involving multiple millions of dollars for plaintiffs, and he brings his particular brand of excellence, his high- powered legal skill, and his tenacious approach work on behalf of clients.
Representing Injured Workers and First Responders from 9/11
Mr. Napoli became particularly well-known in the aftermath of 9/11, through the work he did both in contributing to recovery efforts, as well as in assisting those demolitions workers and first responders who were injured on the site.
Mr. Napoli was appointed by the United States District Court as Co-Liaison Counsel representing more than 11,000 first responders and other rescue and recovery workers who became ill or were injured during the rescue, recovery, and debris-removal activities at the World Trade Center site in the months following 9/11. Mr. Napoli was instrumental in obtaining settlements that are today valued at more than $900 million for his clients and others.
His efforts on behalf of 9/11 workers and their families left him with a deep, abiding passion to work towards changes in the existing social and legal system. He became heavily involved in 9/11 charitable organizations and advocacy groups, while speaking out on the legal issues facing victims and their rights pertaining to settlements after 9/11.
In addition to his personal efforts and using his skill as an attorney to help those impacted, Mr. Napoli also lobbied New York State and the U.S. Congress for two important pieces of legislation to assist WTC-injured workers, downtown residents, and office workers. These include:
- An amendment to New York’s General Municipal Law §50-I, (known as “JIMMY NOLAN’S LAW”), that provided a one-year savings statute for otherwise time-barred first responder claims. This effectively extended the amount of time for those injured in 9/11 rescue, clean up, and recovery efforts to seek compensation from public corporations.
- The JAMES ZADROGA 9/11 HEALTH AND COMPENSATION ACT OF 2010 (“Zadroga Bill”), which extended the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program Fund indefinitely and allowed individuals and family members of deceased workers to continue to file claims for compensation under the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001. This provides for medical monitoring, medical treatment, and cash awards for injured first responders and other WTC survivors, local office workers and community members injured by the post-9/11 fallout of over $2.8 billion dollars.
While passing this legislation played an important role in ensuring victims of the 9/11 attacks received the financial support they and their families deserved while they recovered, Mr. Napoli’s efforts did not stop there. Mr. Napoli has been a generous contributor to the 9/11 Memorial, the 9/11 Memorial Museum, and other organizations working to support first responders and other WTC-injured workers.
The National September 11th Memorial Museum
As a strong supporter of the National September 11 Memorial Museum, Mr. Napoli’s efforts help to ensure that the event that occurred that fateful day and the lives that were lost or changed forever are not forgotten.
The Memorial itself, which is directly on the WTC site, serves to help remember and honor the thousands of people murdered by the acts of terrorism, both in the first attack that occurred there on February 26, 1993, and as a result of the devastation resulting from 9/11. It recognizes the site as a sacred place, in the hopes that the lives lost and the acts of bravery and deeds of courage that took place there will inspire us all to have a deeper respect for life, to work harder to defend our freedoms, and to continue to confront hatred and intolerance, wherever it occurs.
Also located on the site is the National September 11th Memorial Museum, which serves as the country’s principal institution to chronicle the events of that fateful day and how those events continue to impact the world in which we live. The Museum honors victims and those involved in recovery and cleanup efforts through a series of interactive displays and a growing collection of artifacts, personal stories, photos, and videos.
Mr. Napoli’s charitable and civic involvement, his advocacy efforts, and his legal work on behalf of 9/11 and World Trade Center victims have led him to become nationally recognized as an expert on the various issues surrounding that day. Mr. Napoli was profiled in the published book “City of Dust,” a journalistic account of the rescue, recovery, and debris removal activities at the site of the World Trade Center following the September 11, 2001 attacks, authored by former New York Times columnist Anthony DePalma. Due to his extensive knowledge of the attacks, the cleanup and recovery efforts, and the legal obstacles in obtaining settlements, his name is now synonymous with 9/11 responder claims.
Paul Napoli has deep roots and strong personal and professional ties to the city of New York, where he began his legal education and career. Paul is a 1992 graduate of St. John’s University School of Law and holds a B.S. from Fordham University (1989) in accounting. He is admitted to practice both in New York and Illinois and holds “pro hac vice” admissions in several other states.
Protecting the Public
Prior to Mr. Napoli’s work with 9/11 victims of the World Trade Center attacks and their families, he broke ground in becoming one of the leading voices for patient advocacy in debates over the safety of diet pills and the responsibility of physicians in providing their patients with these medications. The controversy focused on the diet drug Fen-Phen, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports has been linked with cases of cardiovascular disease in patients.
In groundbreaking pharmaceutical malpractice and medical malpractice litigation involving thousands of clients, Mr. Napoli played a critical role in holding the drug manufacturers and the physicians who prescribed these drugs accountable, netting roughly $22 billion in settlements for victims.
Paul Napoli’s passion is to shine a light on issues that put the well-being of the public in danger and sharing his knowledge and experience to inform others in the legal field has been a hallmark of his career. Mr. Napoli has written on physician liability for diet drug injuries, which was published in the New York Law Journal, and on “The Cost of Contamination” for the American Water Works Association Journal, in November 2012.
As a leader in the fight to protect the public against potential dangers due to unsafe and potentially illegal practices, he has extensively litigated as an environmental lawyer on behalf of municipal clients for contamination to land and water supplies resulting from petroleum and related chemical spills. While easy access to safe, clean drinking water is crucial to the health of us all, numerous reports in recent years have brought to light concerns over water contamination. Once water is tainted, it is often impossible to completely eradicate the problem, and it is crucial for water suppliers to take a proactive approach to monitor and addressing potential problems.
A Life Dedicated to Helping Others
In pursuing a career in the legal field, Mr. Napoli follows in the footsteps of his father Joseph Napoli, himself a highly successful and well-known personal injury attorney who has played a critical role in assisting clients involved in cases in the New York State and Federal Court of Appeals.
It was while Paul Napoli was seeking his legal degree at St. John’s University that he met his future wife, Marie. Alongside her husband, Mrs. Napoli has over 20 years of experience in handling personal injury, medical malpractice, and mass tort litigation involving complex litigation skills, and her proven track record of success led to her becoming one of the very few female partners in a mass tort litigation firm.
Together, Mr. and Mrs. Napoli have made significant impacts on the legal community in general and have contributed generously to their alma mater. Their commitment to each other, to their family, and to the principle of helping others was highlighted in an SJU alumni magazine issue entitled ‘Heart to Heart’. It outlined how they met on campus, their illustrious careers since, and their generous contribution in establishing the Paul and Marie Kaiser Napoli Lecture Hall in the SJU School of Law. Today, the Napoli’s and their children remain active members of their local community and continue to forge new legal ground.
CIVIC ENGAGEMENT AND PHILANTHROPIC PURSUITS
Through his numerous civic and philanthropic pursuits, Paul Napoli has shown his dedication in giving back to his community. As an active and well-respected alumnus of St. John’s Law School, Mr. Napoli remains active on campus and in the school’s academic administration, and is on the St. John’s Law Dean’s Advisory Council, St. John’s Loughlin Society (Benefactors’ Council); and the St. John’s University School of Law Alumni Association.
Paul’s experience in personal injury law, medical malpractice litigation, World Trade Center litigation, and numerous other legal proceedings and his acumen in handling legal cases is widely recognized by administrators and lawmakers within the state and federal court systems. In addition to his appointment by the United States District Court for the 9/11 litigations, Mr. Napoli was appointed by the Supreme Court of the State of New York as the Liaison Counsel for the Consolidated Diet Drug litigations and for the New York State Rezulin litigations.
In addition to his academic and professional activities, Mr. Napoli has served as a fierce advocate and enthusiastic supporter in numerous charitable endeavors and civic pursuits. Along with his dedicated work with the National September 11th Memorial and Museum and his participation and support for 9/11 Memorial 5K Run/Walk, he has partnered with philanthropic efforts on behalf of Napoli Shkolnik PLLC, lending his heartfelt support to the following:
- The Bone Marrow Foundation: In 2014, Paul Napoli was diagnosed with leukemia and was told he would need a bone marrow transplant in order to recover. Through the guidance and support provided by the BMF, Paul ended up receiving the lifesaving transplant from his younger brother, and made a full recovery from the disease. As a proud supporter, Mr. Napoli works to ensure other families going through similar ordeals get the help and support they need.
- Save the Children: Through his work with 9/11, Mr. Napoli is keenly aware of the issues that occur when disaster strikes a community. Through his support of Save the Children, he is proud to help ensure children in disaster-torn areas in the U.S. and throughout the world get the services they need to ensure a healthy start in life.
- New York City Marathon: As a proud New Yorker, support for the yearly marathon is a given. In 2015, the year after Mr. Napoli’s battle with leukemia, this support became even more personal, when his wife ran in his honor, raising more than $50,000 in pledges.
- New York City Police Museum: Mr. Napoli and the partners at Napoli Shkolnik PLLC are actively committed to assisting the Police Museum in its mission to preserve history and provide educational programming and exhibits to raise awareness on the services offered and sacrifices made in protecting the local community.
- The Police Athletic League (PAL) – NYC: As the largest independent youth development non-profit organization, PAL operates a variety of diverse programs to help enrich the lives of inner city children, while encouraging them to reach their maximum potential.
- Mental Health Association Of Nassau County: Mr. Napoli is proud to support the MHA in its work to improve the mental health of residents of Nassau County through direct services, education, advocacy, and program development.
- Long Island Go Red For Women: Heart disease is one of the leading health concerns in our country, and through contributions to the Long Island chapter of Go Red, Mr. Napoli supports the mission of the American Heart Association to raise awareness and promote longer, healthier lives.
- Swing For A Cure: Mr. Napoli and his colleagues at Napoli Shkolnik participate in and sponsor a tee at this yearly golf event, which helps to raise money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
- PENCIL: Transforming Schools. Together®: Mr. Napoli is passionate in his support of PENCIL, a leading organization in our area that promotes innovative and impactful collaborations between the business and educational communities.
- Trey Whitfield Foundation, INC.®: Mr. Napoli is a proud supporter of this foundation, which encourages and supports the dreams of children and young adults across the country to continue their education.
- Nassau County Law Enforcement Exploring Program: Implementing character-building activities that emphasize career opportunities, life skills, citizenship, character education, and leadership experience, Mr. Napoli is proud to contribute time, money, and energy to this program encourages responsible choice to help make young adults more responsible citizens.
Along with the above, Mr. Napoli and the Napoli Shkolnik PLLC firm participate in the Holiday Mail For Heroes Program, which sends letters and card to military members overseas, as well as annual food drives benefiting local shelters, soup kitchens, and the Meal on Wheels program in New York.
- Napoli Bern Ripka Shkolnik LLP