Grief beyond measure

Boston Globe
September 7, 2011

Ken Feinberg, a Boston lawyer, was a “splash of tropical color” in what might otherwise be a dark and grief-filled negotiation table. Ken Feinberg was selected to be the special master of the September 11 Victim Compensation fund tasked with distributing the government-funded settlement to the families of those who died or were injured in the attacks. After working with families for the past 33 months, 97% have settled opting to take the compensation from the fund. Only 94 families have opted to instead sue the airlines whose planes were turned into missiles.

The victims of this tragic event were often the major provider in their family. Some 72% of the victims had at least one dependent, 75% were married, 65% were between 31 and 50 years old and nearly 39% made more than a $100,000. As a result, the average settlement was approximately two million dollars. While most survivors need the money to live, one mother refused to accept the settlement saying “I lost my son and you’re here to talk about money?’’ The grief can be overwhelming.

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