Feature

9/11 fund untapped

The week's news at a glance.

Washington, D.C.

Nearly 60 percent of the families who lost relatives in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks have not yet filed claims with the victim-compensation fund set up by Congress. “I am concerned, and I think the administration is concerned,” fund overseer Kenneth Feinberg told The New York Times. Congress established the fund to protect airlines from crippling lawsuits; anyone who accepts the money must waive the right to sue. So far, Feinberg has distributed just $623 million from an open-ended pot that was expected to total as much as $3 billion, with an average award of $1.6 million. Only about 800 claims have been filed. Feinberg said a small number of relatives of the 3,016 people planned to sue the airlines, but most had failed to file because they remain paralyzed by grief. “You would be amazed by the number of people who come up to me in tears and say, ‘I’m not ready,’” Feinberg said. The application deadline is Dec. 22.

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