The Boston Globe this morning profiles a lawyer, Ken Feinberg, who negotiated settlements with the families of 9/11 victims — and he remembers one family member in particular:
There was an elderly woman whose son had died in New York. She never responded to any of the solicitations about the settlements, failed to return any of the paperwork, and wouldn’t so much as take a phone call from Feinberg’s office.
As the deadline loomed to file for funds in late 2003, Feinberg personally paid her a visit. He remembers driving deep into Brooklyn, down a modest street to a small apartment house, and climbing stairs to where she lived. She met him at the door.
They sat at her kitchen table as he explained that she was entitled to the money. Congress had passed the legislation. The president signed it. The average payment to a survivor would be more than $2 million.
“ ‘Mrs. Jones,’ I said, ‘the fund is going to expire,’ ’’ Feinberg recalled. “ ‘I’ll help you fill out the forms.’ ’’
He explained that virtually every family of all those killed in the attacks accepted the settlement. Most survivors needed the money to live. Of those who didn’t, many used it for charitable work in the name of their loved one. She should sign the form and do with the settlement whatever she chose, he said. She looked Feinberg in the eye and replied, “I lost my son and you’re here to talk about money?’’