WHO GETS WHAT
Fair Compensation After Tragedy and Financial Upheaval
By Kenneth R. Feinberg
PublicAffairs. 216 pp. $26.99
When bad things happen to good people — the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Virginia Tech shootings, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill — good people want to get paid. In “Who Gets What,” lawyer and master of disaster Kenneth R. Feinberg dissects the complicated business of settling claims after calamity.
“To evaluate the value of a life or a livelihood, I must first tackle a set of far bigger philosophical questions,” writes Feinberg, who helped compensate the victims of hijacker Mohamed Atta, Virginia Tech shooter Seung-Hui Cho and polluter British Petroleum without drawn-out litigation. One such questions is “Why should public or private money be used to compensate certain citizens while denying similar generosity to others?”