Estranged 9/11 dad seeks compensation

June 20, 2007 at 9:02 PM
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NEW YORK, June 20 (UPI) -- The estranged father of a man killed in the World Trade Center five years ago is now fighting for half the $2.9 million awarded to his son's estate.

Philadelphia native Kenneth M. Caldwell hadn't seen his father in 17 years when he perished Sept. 11, 2001.

Yet, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer, deadbeat dad Leon W. Caldwell has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Brooklyn, claiming he should be entitled to half the money granted to Kenneth's estate by the federal 9/11 Victims Recovery Fund. Leon Caldwell left his family in 1973 and had little contact with his two sons afterward.

Rulings in similar cases previously have discounted the claims of absentee fathers. Paul J. Bschorr, an attorney for Kenneth's mother, Elsie Goss-Caldwell, said he hopes the judge hearing this case will do the same.

Caldwell, a cook living in New Jersey, could not be reached for comment.

Kenneth was a 30-year-old technology representative in the New York office of Alliance Consulting of Philadelphia when he died without leaving a will. His body was never recovered.

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