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Tuesday, 17 September, 2002, 22:08 GMT 23:08 UK
Trade Center firm in compensation row
World Trade Center attacked
Cantor Fitzgerald says victims' relatives are being penalised

The company which lost most people in the attack on the World Trade Center says that the American Government's compensation fund threatens to give some families less than they should be entitled to.

The company - bond dealership Cantor Fitzgerald - which lost 658 of its employees, says the fund breaks several laws and it will submit its complaints to the government in a formal report later this week.

Howard Lutnick, Cantor Fitzgerald chief executive
Cantor Fitzgerald lost three-quarters of its World Trade Center Staff
At the heart of Cantor Fitzgerald's objections is the firm's claim that the compensation fund has acted illegally, by setting a cap on the amount of money family members of victims can receive.

The compensation fund was established as part of the bail-out package passed by Congress after the 11 September attacks.

'Unfair' fund

To get automatic compensation from the government, survivors of those killed have to relinquish their right to sue the airlines.

But the bond dealership says the families of the people it lost will also be penalised by the financial awards being based on after-tax projections of lost income.

Instead, Cantor Fitzgerald is calculating payments for its staff using gross income and higher estimates of future earnings than the government.

There has been a chorus of discontent about the fairness of the government fund, which deducts a range of other payments from the final settlements it will make to families.

But this cry, coming from a company with great public sympathy, has the potential to plunge the government compensation programme into disarray.

However, the chief of the fund says he has got no intention of changing the rules, even though only around 25 families have accepted money from it.


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08 Sep 02 | Americas
06 Sep 02 | September 11 one year on
08 Mar 02 | Americas
08 Jan 02 | Americas
23 Dec 01 | Americas
14 Sep 01 | Business
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