Colo. shooting victims to split $5 million

(CNN) — No amount of money can make up for the loss of a loved one. But it does more for the survivors than just kind words, said the attorney handling compensation to victims after the Aurora, Colorado massacre.

Families of those killed and some of the victims wounded in a shooting spree at a movie theater in Aurora in July, will soon receive payments from a charitable fund set up on their behalf, the Colorado governor's office said Friday.

The Aurora Victim Relief Fund has announced how the $5,338,360.32 collected from donors will be distributed to those who suffered death or serious injury.

Ken Feinberg, the fund's special master, has a history of handling similar disbursements to victims of headline-making crimes and disasters.

Since having determined similar payments to victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks, he has been called on to use his judgment to divide compensation among victims in the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse cases for Penn State and in the wake of BP oil spill.

"I think the previous funds worked," Feinberg told CNN in September when he was selected to manage the Aurora payouts. "I think that success sort of breeds repeat performance in these rare situations, where compensation is ready to be distributed to innocent victims."

It's never an easy decision to make under the shadow of a catastrophic loss, Feinberg has said. He has written a book about his experiences titled "Who Gets What."

But the attorney's work in the aftermath of the Virginia Tech massacre of 2007, when a gunman took 32 lives in a shooting rampage on a college campus provided valuable experience in laying down the compensation in the Aurora case.

"The families of the deceased (in the VT massacre) all got the same amount and the physically injured were paid based on how long they were in the hospital."

Of the 57 claims filed after the Aurora shooting, Feinberg approved 38.


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