Donations to the fund for victims of last week’s bombings at the Boston Marathon now total well over $20 million. Attorney Kenneth Feinberg, who is a UMass-Amherst alumnus, has been picked to administer the fund.
Feinberg has administered funds for victims of the 9-11 attacks, the Virginia Tech shootings, the BP oil spill, the Penn State sex abuse scandal, and the Aurora movie theater shootings, as well as TARP, for the bank bailouts. He’s also just been named a special adviser to the fund compensating victims of the Newtown school shooting. Feinberg says determining how to distribute millions -sometimes billions- of dollars to victims is similar in each situation.
“You try and evaluate the nature of the claims, how many deaths, how many injuries, how serious the injuries. You then set aside a certain percentage of the money for death and serious injury, other money for less serious injury,” says Feinberg. “You make a calculation based on the amount of money or what you’ve done before, and then you brace yourself. No good deed goes unpunished. No matter what you do, you’re going to be criticized.”
Feinberg says he tries not to take those criticisms personally.
“It’s directed at me personally, but that’s all right. After what these folks, and these victims have been through, a little personal invective is to be expected.”
He says two town hall meetings will be held May 6th and 7th in Boston to discuss the fund. He says claim forms will be ready by May 15th, and must be returned by June 15th. By June 30th, Feinberg says, all victims will be compensated.
Click on the above audio for an extended interview with Kenneth Feinberg.