RSS FeedFacebookSearch
Gary Younge
September 11 families sue fund

The relatives accuse the fund's administrator, Kenneth Feinberg, of being autocratic, arrogant and having "alienated and disenfranchised the very constituency he was appointed to serve".

All the families involved in the lawsuit are related to victims who worked for the stockbroking firm Cantor Fitzgerald. They claim the fund has put an illegal cap on the awards, which will leave some high-income families with just 10% of the sum to which they are entitled.

The lawsuit further contends that the fund discriminates against unmarried victims, and violates New York law by calculating the awards on the basis of after-tax projections of lost income.

One widow, quoted in the New York Times, said: "My husband worked a second job to support our children and me, and now he's gone. The amount of money we'll get if Feinberg's rules stay the way they are now is unfair. The simple fact is that we need more help."

The changes in the rules and formulas governing the administration of the fund demanded in the suit could increase payments made by the fund to billions of dollars more than the $4bn-5bn already envisaged.

The annual salaries of the plaintiffs range from less than $50,000 (£30,000) to $1m (£600,000). Mr Feinberg would also have to reassess 154 payments already made to families, which average $1.56m.

"It's not his job to balance the budget or bring this project in under a certain number," said John Cambria, the families' lawyer. "It's his job to carry out this statue passed by Congress."

Legal experts say that while the plaintiffs' case is strong, it may still not succeed.

Pamela Falk, a professor at the City University of New York, said: "The court will have to weigh a strong and sympathetic case by the victims that they have not been fairly compensated against a longstanding tradition in US law to give deference to government administrators."

Mr Feinberg, who has 60 days to respond to the lawsuit, told the New York Times he knew nothing about it.

© Gary Younge. All Rights reserved, site built with tlc
 follow on twitter
RT @typemediacenter: “[Stormzy’s] political voice is central to his meaning both as a public figure and a performer,” writes @garyyounge in…
RT @eldiarioes: ADELANTO EDITORIAL | 'Un día más en la muerte de EEUU': rescatar del olvido las historias de 10 adolescentes asesinados htt…
RT @disruptionary: It was 2002. My dad was stop & frisked for having a Muslim name. He was detained w/o a phone call to his family for…
RT @DawnButlerBrent: This is gonna be BIG ✊🏾💪🏾 Join me this Sunday in London with special guests 👤 to hear about my campaign and how we’re…
RT @PalFest: The United Nations has published a much-delayed list of 112 companies with business ties to Israeli settlements in Palestine.…
RT @DawnButlerBrent: Deporting Boris would … ✅ Help save the planet ✅ Reduce corruption ✅ Stop the Hostile Environment All in favour say…
RT @ameliagentleman: ““I admit what I did was wrong. I know I am guilty of dangerous driving but it wasn’t a stolen car; nobody was hurt, I…
RT @jeremycorbyn: If there was a case of a young white boy with blonde hair, who later dabbled in class A drugs and conspired with a friend…
So if you came to the country as a child and sold class A drugs you could be deported by the person you sold them t… https://t.co/EkNlCnwnX2
RT @josephharker: Vacancy for Commissioning Editor (part-time) at the award-winning @Guardian Weekend Magazine. Nine-month contract. https:…
© Gary Younge. All Rights reserved, site built with tlc