Thursday, January 17, 2002 2:32 PM
Comments on Victim Compensation Fund

First, let me thank the Department of Justice and Congress for legislating such a fund, and the American Taxpayers who will be paying for it. I know it will help many people, who would otherwise be devastated by this horrific act of cruelty.

My objection to how the act is structured, is that it punishes families such as mine who lived below their means, putting aside money for the future in 401 K's, life insurance, maximum health insurance, etc. and rewards those who lived for today and didn't have the forethought to plan for the future or for the unforeseen tragedy. There is an inherent unfairness in deducting these amounts from the formula. Putting a price on a life is always a difficult task, and I sympathize with the Special Master, Mr. Feinberg, who had to make some tough decisions. I know he says he will consider special circumstances, but without knowing in advance what compensation I'd be likely to get, I might as well take my chances with the airlines, who through their lobbying efforts in Congress made it clear that their financial bottom line was more important than public safety and the lives of their passengers. I am also horrified that with all that American Airlines went through, they didn't have a sky Marshall on the Paris plane with the Sneaker Bomber. Due to much very good luck, the flight attendants and passengers were able to avert another disaster. With less sharp flight attendants, or without doctors on board, and      , it could have turned out quite differently.

I am certainly tempted to seek compensation through the fund, as I know it will help us move on from this tragedy. But how will I feel later on, when others who sued the airlines get awards of 5 or 10 million dollars? I will feel like a fool, whose children could have had choices open to them that because of my foolishness, they did not. I will feel like I disappointed my husband who worked so hard and saved so well so his children could have every opportunity to live a secure and comfortable life.

Please rethink the way the rules and regulations are structured, so that they make it make sense not to pursue lawsuits with the airlines. This is probably best done by either not deducting life insurance, etc. or raising the base compensation amount for each child.

The American people know that on a different day, a different time, a different place, a different flight, it could have been their loved one that perished. They would want to know that those who did lose a loved one would get fair treatment. Also, I hope that the government will get reimbursed in the future by the airlines, by the assets of the terror organizations or individuals found guilty of this crime.


Individual Comment

Previous Next Back to Comments by Date Back to Comments by Date
(Graphical Version) (Text Only Version)