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Kenneth Feinberg Advises Orlando Leaders On How To Handle Flood Of Donations

Millions of dollars are pouring into various funds to help the families of the victims and the survivors of the Orlando attack. Attorney Kenneth Feinberg has been in charge of several similar funds after other tragedies, including 9/11, the Virginia Tech massacre and the Boston Marathon bombings.

He’s been consulting on how to handle the Orlando situation, and talks about the situation with Here & Now‘s Robin Young.

Hear more of our Orlando shooting coverage

Interview Highlights: Kenneth Feinberg

On his concerns about donation funds for Orlando

“The immediate issue is one, is there only one fund or are there multiple competing funds? One fund is always the best way to go, then you can coordinate with a common criteria. And secondly, how much money do you have, or do you anticipate? You can’t determine the calculation of compensation until you know the aggregate amount.”

On possible issues with donations

“Well, who gets the money? Most of the victims are young teenagers, some with family, some undocumented workers, some with same-sex partners. There’s going to be an issue here I think more than in most cases as to who’s eligible to receive generous compensation.”

On the possibility of undocumented victims

“Now, remember in 9/11, we immediately got a ruling from the immigration service that the undocumented in 9/11, the families, knew that receiving the 9/11 money would not result in any penalty or deportation. Those are the types of issues that will have to be resolved if you’re going to secure the willingness of all the victims and their families to participate in the program.”

On the possibility that some of the victims could be estranged from their family

“The minute there’s money to be had we’ve found over the years, this can promote some tension, ‘Don’t let my sister have any of the money, my brother hated my sister. Don’t let my mother have the money.’ You have to set up a process that will prioritize who’s entitled to the funds and what they have to demonstrate in way of proof to justify receiving a payment.”


Kenneth Feinberg, attorney and consultant.

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