|Description||A multi-million dollar fund for victims and family members affected by 9/11. As a condition of taking the money, they waived the right to take legal action about it.|
97% of the victims' families accepted money from this fund, and as a result agreed never to file suit regarding the events of 9-11. US Attorney General John Ashcroft appointed Kenneth Feinberg as special master of the fund, to develop the regulations governing the administration of the fund and administer all aspects of the program. In 2011, Eric Holder announced that Sheila Birnbaum would head another fund to offer compensation to those who had not yet received it, again with the proviso that those who filed a claim waived their right to take any legal action about the events of that day.
“The victims fund was not created in a spirit of compassion. Rather, it was a tacit acknowledgement by Congress that it tampered with our civil justice system in an unprecedented way. Lawmakers capped the liability of the airlines at the behest of lobbyists who descended on Washington while the Sept. 11 fires still smouldered.
And this liability cap protects not just the airlines, but also World Trade Center builders, safety engineers and other defendants.
The caps on liability have consequences for those who want to sue to shed light on the mistakes of 9/11. It means the playing field is tilted steeply in favor of those who need to be held accountable. With the financial consequences other than insurance proceeds removed, there is no incentive for those whose negligence contributed to the death toll to acknowledge their failings or implement reforms. They can afford to deny culpability and play a waiting game.”
Beverly Eckert (December 19, 2003) 
- http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-02-13-eckert-opinion_N.htm USA Today