This week on our Masters in Business interview, we speak with attorney Ken Feinberg, best known as the Special Master for September 11th Victims Compensation Fund. He also oversaw the funds set up by such events as the BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster Victim Compensation Fund and the GM ignition cases*.
He is the author of such books as What Is Life Worth?: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Fund and Its Effort to Compensate the Victims of September 11th and Who Gets What: Fair Compensation after Tragedy and Financial Upheaval.
Feinberg and his staff worked pro bono for the full 33 months resolving 97% of the claim in the 9/11 fund; he describes the personal toll it took listening to the stories of survivors, and how he managed to maintain his perspective throughout hearing agonizing stories of loss and grief.
He describes what he learned about life, and how the experience affected the way we all should think about our brief lives.
* Feinberg also helped to settle mass torts such as the Agent Orange product liability litigation; the Asbestos Personal Injury Litigation; Dalkon Shield case; He also oversaw the disbursement of funds for gift programs such as Boston Marathon bombing (Boston One Fund), Newton Sandy Hook, Aurora Colorado shooting, Sandusky Penn State cases, and more. Feinberg was also one of three arbitrators who determined the fair market value of the Zapruder film of the Kennedy assassination and was one of two arbitrators who determined the allocation of legal fees in the Holocaust slave labor litigation