'Master Of Disaster' Ken Feinberg: From 9/11 To BP
Kenneth Feinberg may have to rewrite the book on the Sept. 11 attacks.
In "What Is Life Worth?" -- his 2005 account of his experience as special master of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund -- the lawyer and mediator wrote that his work putting a value on the lives lost or scarred in the attack nine years ago Saturday was "the greatest challenge of my career." That was before the BP oil spill.
Feinberg worked pro bono for 2 1/2 years to distribute more than $7 billion to 5,562 people harmed by the terrorist attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. Now he is embarking on a three-year paid assignment to divvy up the $20 billion BP compensation fund. So far, there are more than 50,000 claimants -- and counting.
Stanford University law professor Robert Rabin defended Feinberg's integrity. "It seems out of the question that he would try to satisfy BP as a kind of payback for the salary that he's getting," he said. "He has a very deep commitment to public service and taking on challenges that are not just intellectually challenging but also have tremendous importance for the country."