Pro Bono

Sept 11 Lawyer to Run VA Tech Fund

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How to spend some $7 million donated to Virginia Tech after a student killed 32 and injured dozens more in an on-campus shooting massacre in April will be determined, at least in part, by a Washington, D.C., lawyer.

Kenneth R. Feinberg, who was in charge of disbursing a $7 billion public fund to those affected by the Sept. 11, 200, terrorist attacks, has volunteered to oversee the Virginia Tech fund, the New York Times reports.

Remarkably, no lawsuit has yet been filed against Virginia Tech over the attacks, according to the Times, and $7 million has so far been donated.

How the $7 million should be spent has created controversy among families of some victims, and perhaps 20 families are represented by one lawyer, Thomas Fadoul Jr. of Vienna, Va., in the Washington, D.C., suburbs, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports.

“In the past two months, Tech has used the money to create 32 separate $100,000 scholarship funds in the name of each of Cho’s victims, as well as to pay for funerals and travel and hotel expenses of victims’ families,” the article says. “According to an account provided to The Times-Dispatch, about $3.33 million of the $7 million has been spent or dedicated to scholarships.”

Feinberg told the New York Times he plans to talk immediately with family members. “In some ways, this is familiar territory,” he says. “I will still be dealing with grieving families. I will still be meeting with physically and mentally wounded victims who were shot or who jumped from windows. In that sense, I must say, this assignment is very similar to what I did before.”

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