updated 9/17/2007 9:45:30 PM ET 2007-09-18T01:45:30

The families of 14 victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks reached a settlement Monday that avoids the prospect of a painful trial that would have forced them to revisit the horrors of Sept. 11, 2001.

The cases that were resolved represent only part of the lawsuits scheduled to go to trial on behalf of the people who opted out of the Sept. 11 victims compensation fund. The trial for the other families is scheduled to begin next Monday.

Terms of the settlements were not disclosed.

Patrick Nassaney Sr., whose son died in the attacks, is a member of one of the families who accepted a settlement. He said he learned a great deal about what happened on 9/11, but compensation does not heal his wounds.

The victim compensation fund was created by Congress after the 2001 terror attacks to compensate those killed or injured and to protect the airline industry from financially crippling lawsuits. The fund distributed about $7 billion.

Those who accepted money from the fund had to agree not to sue the airlines, security companies, plane manufacturers and airport owners. Those who didn't accept payment maintained their right to sue.

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