This was the lottery that nobody wanted to win. The day New York’s Twin Towers were destroyed by hijacked planes, hundreds of widows were left destitute. As the full extent of the horror of 9/11 became evident, public donations poured in. During the feverish days following the attack, Congress established a billion- dollar compensation fund, and grieving wives became overnight millionaires. No one could have known that for many of them, the money would destroy their lives once again, attracting jealousy, resentful relatives and making them even more depressed. Some would become squandering, spendaholic widows, their payouts fuelling addictions which could not replace the husbands they had lost. Others would become embroiled in legal battles with their families, their lives eaten up by bitterness. Some, vilified by the public, would even receive a cash windfall which attracted others’ husbands. And, most pitifully, some would get very little at all – their spouses deemed worthy of only a pittance under a system which favoured the rich. Those who took the ‘blood money’ of up to $7 million each were banned from suing the government or airlines for further compensation, their rights stripped away. Now the widows’ […]

Read the Full Article