Legal group offers assistance to isle victims of terror

Thursday, October 25, 2001

Remember 9-11-2001

The fund is part of a national program set up by a lawyers' group

By Debra Barayuga

dbarayuga@starbulletin.com

Families of victims killed or injured in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks can receive free legal representation through the Consumer Lawyers of Hawaii under a fund set up as a result of the tragedy.

Richard Fried Jr., president of the Consumer Lawyers of Hawaii, is expected to announce today details of Trial Lawyers Care, a private nonprofit organization established nationally through Congress to provide experienced lawyers who can assist victims physically harmed in the attacks.

A fund has been set up to pay what victims would be entitled to under state laws, at full cost, unless the individual opts out and files suit.

The fund covers physical harm to individuals who were on the four hijacked flights or in the World Trade Center, not property or business losses, Fried said.

The fund will offer coverage after the airlines' insurance coverage is used up. Claims against United and American Airlines are expected to exceed their nearly $3 billion insurance coverage.

A special master appointed by the U.S. attorney general will set up regulations under which the fund will be administered by Dec. 21.

Like in most personal injury cases, there is a two-year statute of limitations.

For information or to get in touch with a local or national lawyer that can help, contact Fried at 524-1433 or call Trial Lawyers Care at 888-780-8637.

Consumer Lawyers of Hawaii is made up of several hundred trial lawyers representing people injured as a result of defective products, medical negligence, and auto and aviation accidents.

Fried is representing at no cost the family of Christine Snyder, an arborist with the Outdoor Circle who was one of two Honolulu women killed when United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania.