Counsellor at Law
Although a general practitioner, George Daranyi has concentrated his legal practice in the field of representing cancer victims or, if deceased, their surviving beneficiaries. Mr. Daranyi has been practicing in Tucson, Arizona since 1998.
Mr. Daranyi has filed over 3,400 claims with the United States Department of Justice on behalf of "downwinders" (i.e. people who lived in certain geographic areas considered downwind from the testing where nuclear fallout is presumed to have caused cancer), onsite participants and uranium miners, millers, or ore transporters. Approximately 90% of these claims have successfully resulted in awards to the claimants.
These claims are filed pursuant to the provisions of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA), a federal law passed by Congress which came into effect in 1990 and which is designed to compensate those victims (or family members) for cancer caused by the government's above-ground nuclear testing at the Nevada test site between 1951 and 1962.
The majority of cancer claims filed by Mr. Daranyi are on behalf of downwinders. There are approximately 20 cancers covered under RECA, including: breast, brain, lung, pancreas, stomach, colon (including colorectal), among others. It is important to note that not every cancer diagnosis is covered.
If you or a family member have been diagnosed with one or more of these cancers and can otherwise show that you qualify (reference the FAQ section, below) you could be eligible for payments of between $50,000 and $100,000, depending on the category of eligibility.
In addition to RECA claims, Mr. Daranyi also represents claimants under another federal compensation benefits program, the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Act (EEOICPA), which Congress established in 2001. Under the EEOICPA, benefits are available for victims or their family members if they contracted certain illnesses as a result of handling certain radioactive or toxic materials while employed by the Department of Energy, or one of its contractors or subcontractors. Eligibility under this program may result in awards totaling from $150,000 to $275,000, depending on eligibility.
Frequently Asked Questions (regarding the RECA and EEOICPA programs)
I. What are the legal fees and costs of bringing a claim?
All legal fees under the RECA or EEOICPA programs are contingent, which means that if the client does not get paid, then the attorney does not receive payment either. The contingency fee is 2% of the recovery for any initial claims. The fee goes up to 10% for any claims that have been previously filed and denied and are now being refiled. The client is responsible for any out-of-pocket expenses incurred in obtaining documents or information, including investigative services, in support of the claim.
II. How do I determine whether I or my family is eligible for compensation?
Below are several simple questions that, if answered "yes" to, might mean that you or a family member or someone you know are eligible. If you or a family member have had an internal cancer or leukemia anytime after 1956 (even if the family member is deceased) or if you yourself are diagnosed with cancer and if any one of the following enumerated criteria apply to you, you could be eligible for compensation:
1. Lived in any of the following counties for a period of not less than 24 total months between January, 1951 and October, 1958 or during the month of July, 1962:
A. In Arizona: Gila, Apache, Navajo, Coconino, or Yavapai Counties
B. In Utah: Beaver, Garfield, Iron, Kane, Millard, Piute, San Juan, Sevier, Washington, or Wayne counties
C. In Nevada: Eureka, Lander, Lincoln, Nye, White Pine or the northern portion of Clark counties
2. Was physically present at the Nevada Test Site, Trinity Test Site, or other island test sites in the Atlantic or Pacific during a period of atmospheric nuclear testing prior to January 1, 1963 or were present during underground testing on Amchitka Island, Alaska prior to January, 1974
3. Performed some duty in an Uranium mine or mill, or were transporting uranium ore in either Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, North and South Dakota, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, or Wyoming. (Please note that other illnesses may also be covered for those under this section: fibrosis, silicosis and pneumoconiosis)
4. Worked in a nuclear weapons industry facility or for one of its contractors anywhere in the United States and were exposed to either radiation, beryllium or silica, or were present in a gaseous diffusion plant in Paducah, Kentucky; Portsmouth, Ohio; or Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
If one or more of the above criteria applied to you, please reference the Contact page and call Mr. Daranyi's office to discuss the possibility of filing a claim on your or your family member's behalf.
Please note: The RECA program and the EEOICPA program are both regulated and administered under federal statutory and regulatory provisions. The claims discussed here are not lawsuits in the traditional way that most people understand lawsuits. These are administrative claims. Additionally, no claimant or potential claimant is required to hire an attorney to assist him or her in the bringing of this type of claim.
III. How long does it take for a claim to be decided?
If a claim is filed with either the Department of Justice or the Department of Labor, claims can take anywhere from four to twelve months to be administered. Some claims, depending on complexity and other factors, can take longer than a year.
IV. Can I file these claims on my own? Do I need an attorney to do this?
You do not need to retain an attorney to file one of these claims. However, statistics indicate that claimants who are represented by attorneys have a much higher rate of approval than those filed without. If you do decide to file on your own, it is possible for Mr. Daranyi to provide you with some general direction.
V. If a claim was previously denied by RECA or the EEOICPA, can it be refiled or re-submitted?
In some circumstances, claims can be refiled and re-submitted to RECA or the EEOICPA programs. If you or someone you know has previously filed a claim that has been denied by the government on one or more grounds, Mr. Daranyi can review the denial decision with you and give you counsel as to whether or not the claim can or should be refiled. In the event that a claim is refiled after denial, Mr. Daranyi's fee is 10% of the ultimate recovery, if successful.
Other Legal Matters
Mr. Daranyi does, from time to time, take on other legal matters and other clients unrelated to the administrative law programs described above. Although he does not have an active practice in personal injury litigation, he does a fair amount of initial consulting in that area and would welcome any such inquiry and will provide whatever direction he can.
He can also provide general direction and referrals to other attorneys in the fields of litigation, corporate, insurance, family law, wills and trusts, and real estate. Mr. Daranyi is not actively practicing in any of those fields. Although licensed as an attorney at law (since 1987) and in good standing with the State Bar of Arizona, Mr. Daranyi is not certified by the State Bar as a "specialist" in any specific area of the law.