Placing a dollar amount on a life or an injury may sound heartless, but such is the work of Kenneth Feinberg, and very few of us envy him the job. By the time an organization calls him, the tragedy itself is oftentimes long over with. Its victims, however, remain. And it is Feinberg’s job to figure out a way to quantify their loss.
A man well-versed in tragedy, Kenneth Feinberg is the go-to attorney when it comes to compensation funds. He mediated the 1984 class action lawsuit brought by 250,000 Vietnam War veterans against the manufacturers of Agent Orange, and oversaw the compensation funds for 9/11 victims, the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, the 2012 Aurora movie theater mass shooting and the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.
Currently, Feinberg is working with General Motors to vet the claims that are now being made as a result of a defective ignition switch that has so far been blamed for at least 13 deaths. In January, Feinberg spoke with UC Hastings law professor Evan Lee about the challenges he’s faced in the UC Hastings College of the Law and California Lawyer presentation “Legally Speaking,” a series of in-depth interviews with prominent lawyers, judges, and academics.
Tune in and watch Playing Solomon: How Much is Life Really Worth? with Kenneth Feinberg
Watch other Legally Speaking programs.