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Donations to the One Fund Near $45 Million

In the days following the bomb blasts at the 2013 Boston Marathon, The One Fund was created to provide some financial assistance to those who were injured. Donors wanting to contribute were given a June 15 deadline.

In the two months following the terrible events of April 15, nearly $46 million was raised. Along with contributions by businesses and foundations, private citizens and other groups participated. For instance, 10 teenaged girls from Watertown High School arranged a cookout and fair that raised $10,000 for the fund. An eclectic roster of rock stars performed for more than five hours at the sold-out Boston Strong concert that brought in $1.5 million. I just read that it will be re-broadcast on WCVB, Channel 5.

Although anyone who was injured in the blast is eligible to apply for compensation from The One Fund, some people may not qualify, including those who have sought treatment for emotional or psychological distress. Attorney General Martha Coakley is hoping to make money from the Massachusetts Victim Compensation Fund available to this population.

This fund reminds me of the evolution of worker’s compensation law. At the turn of the 20th century, injured workers—and there were plenty of them—had no recourse. Recognizing this, state legislatures moved to adopt laws that have been in place the last 100 or so years. The criterion to recover was sustaining an injury in the course and scope of employment. Proving negligence was not necessary. However, the benefits were, and continue to be, much less than the range of damages (especially pain and shattering) available under tort law. While not ideal, a half a loaf is better than none.

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