$22 Million Las Vegas Victims Fund Leaves Out Many Victims
A fund that will provide monetary compensation to victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas in October falls short of being able to pay out to certain survivors.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the Las Vegas Victims Fund Committee has raised $22 million to distribute to survivors of the shooting, which took place on the final night of the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas. Fifty-eight people were killed and more than 500 others were wounded during the shooting spree, and shortly afterward, a committee formed to raise money for the fund and establish guidelines for the distribution of the money.
Committee chairman Scott Nielson says the sheer number of people affected by the shooting means the committee had to make some hard choices about which victims are eligible for a cash payout.
"It is our desire to recognize and honor all of those whose lives have been forever altered as a result of the horrific events of October 1 and we recognize the incredible needs of those experiencing psychological trauma," Nielson says in a statement, adding, "The overwhelming number of victims prevents us from providing individual monetary payments to those suffering psychological trauma, though we are committed to identifying mental health services to assist this critical segment of the survivor population."
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Payment levels for those who do qualify have not yet been set, but the highest level of compensation will go to claims related to individual deaths and victims who suffered permanent brain damage or paralysis that requires continuous home medical care. The next level of compensation will include people who were physically injured on or before Oct. 10 and hospitalized between the night of the shooting and Dec. 15, while the third and final level includes victims who were physically injured and received treatment on an emergency or outpatient basis on or before Oct 10.
Donations for the fund lagged behind the levels of the One Orlando Fund that was set up in response to the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Fla., in 2016. According to the Times, experts partially attribute that to "compassion fatigue" resulting from an "overwhelming news cycle" that included hurricanes that struck Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico and the wildfires that devastated Northern California, as well as another mass shooting in Texas.
The Las Vegas Victims Fund will continue accepting donations through January.
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