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9/11 victim compensation report released; shows success, inequities

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice has released its final report [PDF] on the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. The fund, created by Congress to offer families and injured survivors a faster alternative to litigation, attracted 2880 out of a possible 2973 death claims and a further 2680 injury claims. The final report includes a demographic portrait of those who died, most of whom were working-class or middle-class, relatively young, and male: 45% earned less than $25,000 a year and nearly two-thirds earned under $100,000; nearly 40% were in their thirties, compared to less than 1% over seventy, and 76% were men. Compensation, which was based on each victim's earnings, assets and insurance policies, ranged from a guaranteed minimum of $250,000 per victim to over $8 million. The International Herald Tribune has more on the inequities uncovered in the report; fund special master Kenneth Feinberg noted in an interview Wednesday that it might have been preferable "to provide the same amount for all eligible claimants" in order to avoid divisiveness among surviving relatives.

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