updated: 8/31/2011 5:20:08 PM
National victims compensation expert Kenneth Feinberg is donating his services to help distribute the private donations made to the Indiana State Fair Remembrance Fund. Also, Attorney General Greg Zoeller says Indiana is moving to pay the full $5 million allowed under state law for claims "as soon as an equitable formula can be devised."
August 31, 2011
INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana State Fair Commission will use the services of nationally recognized victims compensation expert Kenneth Feinberg to quickly and fairly distribute the private donations made to the Indiana State Fair Remembrance Fund.
Andre Lacy, chairman of the Indiana State Fair Commission, said today that Feinberg -- who is donating his services -- will recommend protocols for eligibility and payment amounts to victims of the Aug. 13 state fair accident.
So far, donations of about $263,000 have been made to the fund. That does not yet include about $554,000 of concert proceeds donated by the bands Maroon 5 and Train, who performed their scheduled state fair concert offsite at Conseco Fieldhouse in the days after the accident.
“Our goal is to get the funds donated by the bands, Hoosiers and many others who have stepped up to help the accident victims and families as soon as we can in a manner consistent with rules for charitable giving. To have the foremost expert in the world help us do this right is an unexpected plus,” said Lacy.
On August 15, the Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) created the Indiana State Fair Remembrance Fund to help victims and their families. To facilitate the distribution of funds, Governor Mitch Daniels has signed an executive order that allows the state, through a restricted fund called the State Fair Relief Fund, to accept a grant of the Remembrance Fund donations from the CICF. The sole purpose of the State Fair Relief Fund will be to receive and distribute all of the charitable donations to victims of the state fair accident.
CICF will continue to accept tax deductible donations to the State Fair Remembrance Fund. The donations will then be transferred to the State Fair Relief Fund. This procedure will enable the funds to be distributed faster.
Feinberg will help the State Fair Commission develop the framework for distribution of the charitable funds, including determining who is eligible for funds, a claims process, and the amount of the charitable disbursement. The payments from the relief fund will be considered a charitable gift and are not intended as compensation for any injury or legal rights arising from the accident.
Separately, Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced today that Feinberg will serve as a consultant to his office to develop a protocol for resolving legal claims filed against the state as a result of the accident. The Attorney General’s Office has issued a news release about Feinberg’s role.
Lacy also said the commission has started to respond to records requests, mostly from members of media organizations. Concurrent with responding to the requests, the commission has decided to post the responses on its newly established accident website, www.in.gov/sfc. Additional records will be posted as requests are fulfilled.
Documents posted on the site today are:
Thornton Tomasetti contract
Witt Associates contract
2011 Sugarland document file
2010 Sugarland contract and rider
International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employee Local 30 contract
Dave Lucas Entertainment contract
Sugarland settlement memorandum
Janet Jackson settlement memorandum
Lady Antebellum settlement memorandum
Brett Eldredge settlement memorandum
Train settlement memorandum
The governor’s executive order: http://www.in.gov/gov/2400.htm
Information about Feinberg and his company: www.feinbergrosen.com
Source: Indiana State Fair Commission
INDIANAPOLIS – Attorney General Greg Zoeller said today that Kenneth Feinberg, the nationally respected expert who was administrator of victim compensation funds after 9/11 and the BP Gulf oil spill, has agreed to consult with the Attorney General’s Office on paying claims associated with the Indiana State Fair tragedy.
Feinberg will serve as consultant to the Attorney General on developing a protocol for resolving claims filed against the State of Indiana in a fair and equitable way. Feinberg has agreed to consult at no charge to the State or taxpayers.
“We want to move to pay the full $5 million that the state’s law allows as soon as an equitable formula can be devised. My goal is to focus on the needs of victims and their families while minimizing the expense of lengthy and costly litigation. In light of the urgency for victims of the State Fair tragedy and the statutory limits on compensation, the advice of Mr. Feinberg who has faced these circumstances before will be invaluable in developing this claims process effectively,” Zoeller said.
Feinberg, an attorney, mediator, arbitrator and law professor, is best known as the special master of the federal September 11 Victim Compensation Fund, where he adjudicated claims from and determined settlement amounts for the families of thousands of 9/11 victims. Feinberg performed a similar role as administrator of the victim compensation fund for Gulf Coast victims harmed by the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. He was administrator of a memorial fund established for victims of the Virginia Tech mass shooting, and he advised Minnesota lawmakers on a crafting a legislative framework for the claims-adjuster process for the Minneapolis bridge collapse.
“I am honored to serve in this important capacity and will do what I can to assist the needs of the citizens of Indiana,” Feinberg said.
The Office of the Indiana Attorney General represents the State in various legal matters related to the State Fair tragedy. With a statutory role in administering the Indiana Tort Claim Fund, the Attorney General’s office reviews claims and makes recommendations to the Governor for his consent before any payments are made on behalf of the State.
In his role as an unpaid consultant to the Attorney General, Feinberg will develop a protocol for resolving claims from the August 13 incident fairly and equitably, which the Attorney General will use in making recommendations to the Governor for his consent. Such a process would provide victims and families with certain and prompt payment.
“Through his service after previous tragedies, Mr. Feinberg brings great experience and insight to the claims process. Evaluating claims so that the State can be fair and equitable in addressing victims will be a difficult and solemn process. We are grateful that Mr. Feinberg has stepped forward once again to serve at this time of need,” Zoeller said.
Separately, Feinberg also will work to coordinate with the Indiana State Fair Commission on protocols for distribution of the private donations made to the Indiana State Fair Remembrance Fund.
Source: Office of the Indiana Attorney General