(NEW YORK) -- Ten years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, deceased victims' families and the injured have been compensated over $7 billion.
Of 2,977 people who lost their lives as a result of the attacks, only one victim's family has refrained from settling its claims with the airline and a security company they say was negligent.
The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001, created by Congress, has distributed the money to survivors and victims' families. They have received an average of just over $2 million tax-free per claim, according to Kenneth Feinberg, a former pro bono administrator of the fund.
In addition, 2,300 physically injured 9/11 victims or those who suffered from respiratory problems cleaning up the World Trade Center were each awarded $400,000 tax-free, on average, Feinberg said.
Feinberg started distributing compensation 11 days after the program was established and began cutting checks in April 2002, until the fund expired by statute in June 2004.
He said 94 families who lost a loved one on Sept. 11 opted not to participate in the fund and decided voluntarily to litigate in Manhattan. And 93 of those 94 settled over the past five years. Only the Bavis family is going to trial.
The Bavis family of Massachusetts will resume their lawsuit in New York City against United Airlines and security company Huntleigh on Sept. 19. The family first filed the suit in September 2002. Mary Bavis, the named plaintiff, is the mother of Mark Bavis who was aboard United Airlines flight 175 from Boston when it struck the south tower of the World Trade Center.
Other companies and cities that the Bavis' initially sued have been dropped from the suit over time. The New York district court dismissed Massport, for example, which oversees Boston Logan airport, Don Migliori, an attorney representing the family, said.
The families that opted out of the fund and eventually settled may have received an average of under $5 million, using figures from the report of Sheila Birnbaum, the 9/11 mediator. The information, however, is confidential.
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