EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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June 15, 2013

Deadline nears for claims to marathon fund

BOSTON — The primary compensation fund for victims of the Boston Marathon bombings got a flurry of applications Friday, a day before the deadline to file a claim.

The One Fund deputy administrator Camille Biros said 188 claims had been filed by the end of the business day Friday, and more claims were expected as the Saturday deadline approached. Just 98 claims had been filed by the start of the week.

“We’re well on our way to getting everybody,” Biros said. “We know we have the most seriously injured.”

Three people were killed and more than 260 injured during the April 15 twin bombings near the marathon’s finish line. The One Fund was quickly established by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and Gov. Deval Patrick, and has grown to more than $47 million.

Its administrator, attorney Kenneth Feinberg, set a deadline of Saturday for claims to be submitted, followed by a 10-day period when he’ll interview potential recipients. He’ll then make payment recommendations to the city, before money begins going out at month’s end.

But Leo Boyle, the past president of the Massachusetts Bar Association, urged The One Fund to hold off on at least a portion of the payments to ensure everybody who qualifies for a payment gets money, even if they miss the deadline.

“A deadline should be an aspiration, it shouldn’t be a disqualification,” he said.

Boyle said some reports put the total number treated at hospitals as more than 280, so there’s a significant potential pool of people who haven’t applied.

It’s still unknown how many of those injuries were serious enough to merit a payment, but Boyle said some of the seriously hurt may still be dealing with the trauma and treatment after the attack and won’t make the deadline.

“This is a charity, it isn’t a class action lawsuit,” said Boyle, whose firm represents three of marathon bombing victims. “The door shouldn’t be closed until every single victim is accounted for.”

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