< Back to H.R. 3633 (107th Congress, 2001–2002)

Text of the Oklahoma City Victims Compensation Act

This bill was introduced on January 24, 2002, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Jan 24, 2002 (Introduced).

Source: GPO

HR 3633 IH

107th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 3633

To provide compensation for the United States citizens or legal permanent residents who were victims of the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on April 19, 1995, on the same basis as compensation is provided to victims of the terrorist-related aircraft crashes on September 11, 2001.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

January 24, 2002

Mr. TRAFICANT introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


A BILL

To provide compensation for the United States citizens or legal permanent residents who were victims of the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on April 19, 1995, on the same basis as compensation is provided to victims of the terrorist-related aircraft crashes on September 11, 2001.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘Oklahoma City Victims Compensation Act’.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    The Congress finds that--

      (1) on April 19, 1995, Public Law 100-440 set a minimum staffing level of Federal Police Officers at 1,000 Full Time Equivalent personnel for the Federal Protective Service;

      (2) on April 19, 1995, and before the Federal Protective Service and its parent agency the General Services Administration was charged with providing security and law enforcement for Federal properties;

      (3) on April 19, 1995, and before that the Federal Protective Service failed to meet the required minimum staffing level by a significant margin in excess of 60 percent of the mandate;

      (4) on April 29, 1995, and before the Federal Protective Service provided only one non-law enforcement guard for three or more buildings (including the Murrah Federal Building) in the downtown area of Oklahoma City;

      (5) on April 19, 1995, and before the Federal Protective Service and its parent Agency the General Services Administration were aware of the noncompliance with Public Law 100-440 and the possible liabilities resulting therefrom;

      (6) on April 19, 1995, and before the Federal Protective Service and its parent Agency the General Services Administration failed to provide adequate protection and deterrence to Federal properties; and

      (7) on April 19, 1995, the Federal Protective Service and its parent agency the General Services Administration were negligent in the provision of law enforcement personnel and the security needs of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act the following definitions apply:

      (1) CLAIMANT- The term ‘claimant’ means an individual filing a claim for compensation under section 5(a)(1).

      (2) COLLATERAL SOURCE- The term ‘collateral source’ means all collateral sources, including life insurance, pension funds, death benefit programs, and payments by Federal, State, or local governments related to the bombings of the Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995.

      (3) ECONOMIC LOSS- The term ‘economic loss’ means any pecuniary loss resulting from harm (including the loss of earnings or other benefits related to employment, medical expense loss, replacement services loss, loss due to death, burial costs, and loss of business or employment opportunities) to the extent recovery for such loss is allowed under applicable State law.

      (4) ELIGIBLE INDIVIDUALS- The term ‘eligible individuals’ means an individual determined to be eligible for compensation under section 5(c).

      (5) NONECONOMIC LOSSES- The term ‘noneconomic losses’ means losses for physical and emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, mental anguish, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of society and companionship, loss of consortium (other than loss of

domestic service), hedonic damages, injury to reputation, and all other nonpecuniary losses of any kind or nature.

      (6) SPECIAL MASTER- The term ‘Special Master’ means the Special Master appointed under section 404(a) of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001 (title IV of the Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act (Public Law 107-42; 115 Stat. XX)).

SEC. 4. PURPOSE.

    It is the purpose of this Act to provide compensation to any individual (or relatives of a deceased individual) who was physically injured or killed as a result of the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on April 19, 1995.

SEC. 5. ADMINISTRATION.

    (a) IN GENERAL- The Attorney General, acting through the Special Master, shall--

      (1) administer the compensation program established under this Act;

      (2) promulgate all procedural and substantive rules for the administration of this Act; and

      (3) employ and supervise hearing officers and other administrative personnel to perform the duties of the Special Master under this Act.

    (b) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to pay the administrative and support costs for the Special Master in carrying out this Act.

SEC. 6. DETERMINATION OF ELIGIBILITY FOR COMPENSATION.

    (a) FILING OF CLAIMS-

      (1) IN GENERAL- A claimant may file a claim for compensation under this Act with the Special Master. The claim shall be on the form developed under paragraph (2) and shall state the factual basis for eligibility for compensation and the amount of compensation sought.

      (2) CLAIM FORM-

        (A) IN GENERAL- The Special Master shall develop a claim form that claimants shall use when submitting claims under paragraph (1). The Special Master shall ensure that such form can be filed electronically, if determined to be practicable.

        (B) CONTENTS- The form developed under subparagraph (A) shall request--

          (i) information from the claimant concerning the physical harm that the claimant suffered, or in the case of a claim filed on behalf of a decedent information confirming the decedent’s death, as a result of the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on April 19, 1995;

          (ii) information from the claimant concerning any possible economic and noneconomic losses that the claimant suffered as a result of such bombings; and

          (iii) information regarding collateral sources of compensation the claimant has received or is entitled to receive as a result of such bombings.

      (3) LIMITATION- No claim may be filed under paragraph (1) after the date that is 2 years after the date on which regulations are promulgated under section 8.

    (b) REVIEW AND DETERMINATION-

      (1) REVIEW- The Special Master shall review a claim submitted under subsection (a) and determine--

        (A) whether the claimant is an eligible individual under subsection (c);

        (B) with respect to a claimant determined to be an eligible individual--

          (i) the extent of the harm to the claimant, including any economic and noneconomic losses; and

          (ii) the amount of compensation to which the claimant is entitled based on the harm to the claimant, the facts of the claim, and the individual circumstances of the claimant.

      (2) NEGLIGENCE- With respect to a claimant, the Special Master shall not consider negligence or any other theory of liability.

      (3) DETERMINATION- Not later than 120 days after that date on which a claim is filed under subsection (a), the Special Master shall complete a review, make a determination, and provide written notice to the claimant, with respect to the matters that were the subject of the claim under review. Such a determination shall be final and not subject to judicial review.

      (4) RIGHTS OF CLAIMANT- A claimant in a review under paragraph (1) shall have--

        (A) the right to be represented by an attorney;

        (B) the right to present evidence, including the presentation of witnesses and documents; and

        (C) any other due process rights determined appropriate by the Special Master.

    (c) ELIGIBILITY-

      (1) IN GENERAL- A claimant shall be determined to be an eligible individual for purposes of this subsection if the Special Master determines that such claimant--

        (A) is an individual described in paragraph (2); and

        (B) meets the requirements of paragraph (3).

      (2) INDIVIDUALS- A claimant is an individual described in this paragraph if the claimant is--

        (A) a citizen of the United States or legal permanent resident who--

          (i) was present at the Murrah Federal Building or within a two block radius of the Murrah Federal Building, at the time, or in the immediate aftermath, of the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on April 19, 1995; and

          (ii) suffered physical harm or death as a result of such a bombing; or

        (B) in the case of a decedent who is an individual described in subparagraph (A), the personal representative of the decedent who files a claim on behalf of the decedent.

      (3) REQUIREMENTS-

        (A) SINGLE CLAIM- Not more than one claim may be submitted under this Act by an individual or on behalf of a deceased individual.

        (B) LIMITATION ON CIVIL ACTION-

          (i) IN GENERAL- Upon the submission of a claim under this Act, the claimant waives the right to file a civil action (or to be a party to an action) in any Federal or State court for damages sustained as a result of the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on April 19, 1995. The preceding sentence does not apply to a civil action to recover collateral source obligations or punitive damages.

          (ii) PENDING ACTIONS- In the case of an individual who is a party to a civil action described in clause (i), such individual may not submit a claim under this Act unless such individual withdraws from such action by the date that is 90 days after the date on which regulations are promulgated under section 7.

SEC. 7. PAYMENTS TO ELIGIBLE INDIVIDUALS.

    (a) IN GENERAL- Not later than 20 days after the date on which a determination is made by the Special Master regarding the amount of compensation due a claimant under this Act, the Special Master shall authorize payment to such claimant of the amount determined with respect to the claimant.

    (b) PAYMENT AUTHORITY- This Act constitutes budget authority in advance of appropriations Acts and represents the obligation of the Federal Government to provide for the payment of amounts for compensation under this Act.

    (c) Additional Funding-

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Attorney General is authorized to accept such amounts as may be contributed by individuals, business concerns, or other entities to carry out this Act, under such terms and conditions as the Attorney General may impose.

      (2) USE OF SEPARATE ACCOUNT- In making payments under this section, amounts contained in any account containing funds provided under paragraph (1) shall be used prior to using appropriated amounts.

SEC. 8. REGULATIONS.

    Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Attorney General, in consultation with the Special Master, shall promulgate regulations to carry out this Act, including regulations with respect to--

      (1) forms to be used in submitting claims under this Act;

      (2) the information to be included in such forms;

      (3) procedures for hearing and the presentation of evidence;

      (4) procedures to assist an individual in filing and pursuing claims under this Act; and

      (5) other matters determined appropriate by the Attorney General.

SEC. 9. RIGHT OF SUBROGATION.

    The United States shall have the right of subrogation with respect to any claim paid by the United States under this Act.