Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Boston and TTT: Asia

Not much to report. Work, yoga, running (slowly still, not sure what's up with me the last six months).  Our fifth anniversary is Friday and the traditional gift for year five is wood.  I came up with an awesome plan -- wooden frames to do the other side of a stairwell.  But I found out yesterday that they're the wrong size.  So I went to a craft store and bought 30 there.  Also the wrong size (well, technically, still 4x6, but they're not the same size as all the others already hanging).  So I just ordered 30 more from Amazon, but since the fastest shipping available is 2-4 business days (as opposed to 4-10), they won't be here in time for our anniversary.  So I have to come up with a creative way to package the photos I've already printed to put in the frames.

Thinking a lot about Boston this week.  Here's what I had posted last year, spending the entire day tracking friends running the race (my tradition if I'm not running), and then the chaos that followed:

I was surprised by a cold front here on Tuesday morning, so I proudly wore my Boston jacket on my run to commemorate the one year anniversary. 

Given my line of work, it shouldn't be particularly surprising that I did some research about whether the victims who died or those injured who survived the Boston bombing have brought any lawsuits.  There was a suit by one survivor against Glenn Beck for defamation (and I believe another defamation suit in NY), and a suit by the ACLU about release of documents related to the bombing, but I was more curious about suits against the BAA, the city, the police/security companies involved with the race, the tortfeasors (the brothers), or governmental agencies. 

While the One Fund proceeds (about $60 million) were distributed (a second, smaller distribution is or was set to follow), obviously the costs were high -- the few who died as I recall were all fairly young, and therefore any one of them alone would likely have had a high value claim for loss of future earnings (though of course for the child, it's much harder to predict).  And of course those seriously injured incurred substantial medical bills (though I think Massachusetts was a state with mandatory health insurance before, so perhaps individuals aren't bearing the brunt as much as someplace like here in Texas where medically uninsured numbers are high), not to mention general damage claims for loss of enjoyment of life, etc. 

The One Fund distribution was broken out by severity.  Families of the deceased and double amputees received $2.2 million each, and the 14 single-limb amputees each received approximately $1.2 million.  Of the others injured, the distribution was based on the number of nights spent in the hospital. A single night was worth $125,000; 32 nights or more qualified victims for $948,000 (not usre how the math worked for someone in the hospital for 10 days for example). The 143 people who were treated as outpatients received $8,000 each.  That kind of system makes sense to get funds out fairly rapidly, without getting too bogged down in particular claims' values (and then receipients can structure it if they want).  But of course there have been some appeals there about people who didn't go to the hospital but the alleged severity of their injuries later became apparent, but as far as I can tell, no direct suits claiming someone was responsible for the bombing.  There was also some lesser distribution from a state victims' fund I've read.  The payments by the One Fund and state funds are tax-free but they do impact recipients' entitlement to other governmental benefits (so if someone was on the state's insurance for the poor, they'd no longer be eligible for that). 

The brothers were apparently judgment proof, so no money to be gotten there.  Given the immunity likely for the state/federal agencies/entities, likely no money there either.  An interesting article, here, indicates that as a non-profit, the BAA's liability is capped (though it doesn't say at how much).  But of course I'd guess they're insured and the policy very well could cover acts of terrorism.  But with over a hundred injured and three dead, policy limits would be expected to go fast, even if they're large, but the insurance won't kick in until claims are over $100 million

Interestingly, if a victim accepts funds from The One Fund, it does not bar subsequent suits (not the case with some central settlement relief funds, such as 9-11), so I guess we'll just have to wait and see.  Suits strike me as unlikely, but at the same time, many people losing someone or who are injured look somewhere, anywhere, for compensation.  My quick Google research indicates no suits thus far. 

Okay, enough about work!

And a bit late, but why not, talking about travel.

Rules for TTT - please take a moment to answer this week’s questions on your own blog then add your link in the comments section for this post at Without a License so we can all see your answers! Please invite your readers to link back to their post on this post too so we can see everyone's answers and connect with other bloggers! (Remember to add the TTT graphic above and these rules to your post as well!) TTT Topic: Worst Travel Experience
1) What country do you want to visit the most in Asia?
2) Is there a country you'd rather not visit in Asia?
3) Have you ever been to Asia? if so, which countries?
4) Is there any Asian influence where you are currently living?
5) If you could be fluent in Chinese/Japanese/Korean/Hindi, which one would you choose?

Today's Topic: Asia!

1) What country do you want to visit the most in Asia?
My answer is definitely India -- and hopefully a month from now, I will have purchased plane tickets to go there this year!  I'm so excited to see the Taj Mahal, but beyond that, I'm excited about the culture, the food, the chaos, the sights, the different-ness of it all.  I'd also really like to go to Nepal and Bhutan. 

2) Is there a country you'd rather not visit in Asia? Not really.  If I had to put one at the bottom of the list, it would probably be Mongolia, mostly because of the food -- very meat-heavy, which would be tough for me.  And I'm not particularly intrigued by the scenery, but of course, if I had an opportunity to go to Mongolia, I'd seize it -- it's just not somewhere that is likely to be a priority for us anytime soon. 

3) Have you ever been to Asia? If so, which countries? Yes, but not since 2012.  I've been to Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and of course China (I recapped the trip all over this blog).  Each country was amazing and wonderful in its own way. 

4) Is there any Asian influence where you are currently living? There is a large Asian community in the suburb north of Dallas, but not particularly significant in Dallas (probably similar to most other cities in the US, excluding places like NY and SF).  There are tons of Asian restaurants -- from our house, within 3 blocks you have Indian, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese (if you could Pei Wei, which I will admit is a stretch).  One of our neighbors is from Taiwan, so one of her relatives helped me a lot when I was studying Chinese before our trip.  There's also a Chinese Catholic church where I'm hoping to start taking formal Chinese lessons in May. 

5) If you could be fluent in Chinese/Japanese/Korean/Hindi, which one would you choose? Chinese for sure!  Not only would I love to go back to China to explore different parts of the country, I also think China's influence will continue to grow in the world (as it should, given the size of the population there).  But if the fluency is short-term, just for the next 8 months, then I'd pick Hindi since that would undoubtedly help a lot for our vacation this fall. 


  1. fascinating about the suits. i never thought to look into it but then again im not in the field as u r. thx for participating in travel talk tuesday. ur answers are great and i concur about Mongolia being meat heavy :)

  2. This was really interesting to read about the lawsuits. You are correct that Massachusetts had mandatory health insurance prior to the bombings. When patients with no insurance are admitted to the unit I work on, they are usually assisted with the process of obtaining Mass Health while inpatient.

    Asia is such a fascinating part of the world and still one I know very little about. I have never been anywhere in Asia. I have friends living in Vietnam and would really love to seize the opportunity to visit the country while they are there. I think I would choose to be fluent in Chinese because it seems to be such a challenging language to learn.