More claims filed in Indiana State Fair stage collapse
INDIANAPOLIS - The man who distributed money to the victims of 9/11 and the BP oil spill visited Indianapolis Wednesday with new information for the people injured in the State Fair stage collapse.
So far, nearly $850,000 has been collected, but it won't go very far. Still, one victim says any amount will help ease her mind.
In the blink of an eye, this is Tracy Green's new reality. The single mother of two has two broken feet, leaving her unable to work at ConAgra during the busy harvest season. She was in front of the stage waiting for Sugarland to perform when a storm hit and the stage rigging came down.
"I was paycheck to paycheck before and now to know you can't just go make an income," she said tearfully.
Ken Feinberg has been brought in to help divvy the State Fair Remembrance Fund, which has all been donated.
Feinberg has been at the helm of some of the largest, most delicate compensation funds, including 9/11 and Virginia Tech. Now he has to decide how much people like Tracy Green should receive. It won't be an easy task.
"How much money should be allocated to eligible claimants? How quickly can these claims be honored and paid?" he asked.
Feinberg says it's important to be fair with the distribution of the donated funds but the fact of the matter is there's simply not a lot of money to go around. Right now, about $850,000 has been donated and 16 tort claims have been filed with the State of Indiana.
Carl Brizzi Represents Heather Goodrich. Her husband Glen was killed, leaving her without his income, so every penny counts.
"That's the thing. It's everything from - not just the money. It's the health insurance and paying the light bills. He was the primary earner," said Brizzi.
"There's going to have to be some tough questions here based on the reality of what's available, how quickly the money can be dispensed in an emergency manner with a minimum amount of administrative overhead," said Feinberg.
That moment can't come soon enough for Tracy Green
"I don't like to ask for help but yeah, a little help would be nice," she said.
For now, all she can do is wait and hope her luck will eventually take a turn.
Feinberg is working closely with the Indiana State Fair Commission and says a plan to distribute the fund should be in place in the next few weeks. The compensation consultant is also working with the attorney general's office to handle the state's victim compensation fund, which is capped at $5 million. A toll-free number as well as a website will be established for those seeking money. This is a different process from filing a tort claim, which preserves your right to sue the state.