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Legal Battles Loom As Pulse Victims Receive $350,000 Each

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Money from the OneOrlando Fund will start going to victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting, despite a lawsuit trying to block disbursement.  A judge will hear a request next week to block payments until the fund has been audited.

But that’s not the only legal battle over the money.

The estates of the 49 persons who lost their lives will each receive $350,000, and fund administrators say at least half of those are fighting over claims. If the claims aren’t immediately resolved, then they will be sent to probate court. Fund Administrator Ken Feinberg says legal wrangling goes with the territory.

According to a spreadsheet released by fund administrators, eight victims who spent at least 24 days in the hospital will receive $300,000 each. There are 182 claimants who were at the club but not injured who will each receive $25,000.

All of the money is expected to go out by Friday, but a survivor is trying to block distribution of the money until there’s an audit. Attorney Paul Zeniewitz is seeking the audit on behalf of survivor Jillian Amador. He’s concerned that the amount raised for the fund seems low and the number of qualified claimants seems high.

A gunman killed 49 and injured more than 50 others at the Pulse nightclub 

Catherine Welch is news director at Rhode Island Public Radio. Before her move to Rhode Island in 2010, Catherine was news director at WHQR in Wilmington, NC. She was also news director at KBIA in Columbia, MO where she was a faculty member at the University Of Missouri School Of Journalism. Catherine has won several regional Edward R. Murrow awards and awards from the Public Radio News Directors Inc., New England AP, North Carolina Press Association, Missouri Press Association, and Missouri Broadcasters Association.