Boston Marathon Fund Chief: Lower Expectations

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Next are those who had single limbs amputated, followed by those who were injured enough to require overnight hospital stays.

Although he hasn’t proposed specific dollar amounts for compensation, Feinberg has said the families of those killed or those who had limbs amputated could end up receiving $1 million each from the fund.

Feinberg said as many as 15 to 20 victims needed single or double amputations. That means the number of larger payouts to those most seriously hurt could use up the bulk of the fund.

Gov. Deval Patrick and Mayor Thomas Menino have made speed in getting the money to those who need it a top priority, said Feinberg, who hopes to begin sending payments June 30.

But Feinberg emphasized the plan isn’t final and asked audience members their opinions on thorny issues that would lengthen the process, including whether a person’s income or insurance should be considered, with people who have more money getting smaller payouts.

During the two meetings, family members of victims presented sometimes excruciating dilemmas, including one woman who on Monday said her daughter lost one leg, and doctors were working to save her other one. The woman asked whether she should file for compensation as a single or double amputee.

Others, including Loring, think money should be given to everyone who was hurt in any way by the bombings, even if it means less money for those with the worst injuries. He said people who helped save his daughter are still suffering mentally, but aren’t eligible for a claim.

“Of the … people who donated (to The One Fund), if you polled them, they think it’s going to all the victims, not a selected class,” he said after the meeting Tuesday.

Some weren’t sure what to ask Feinberg. Liz Norden, whose two adult sons each lost a leg in the bombing, said Monday that she’s “just focusing on the care of my sons. … I don’t know what questions I’m supposed to be asking or not asking.”

Feinburg acknowledged the dilemmas and what he called the “rough justice” ahead in struggles to be both fast and fair. One example was his guideline under the draft plan that people who didn’t suffer amputations and who spent an equal number of days in the hospital get the same payouts, even if one person’s injury is far more severe.

“This is a horrible undertaking,” Feinberg said. “It raises questions that I believe would defy Solomon in getting answers.”

(Photo: AP)

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