Edited by Harry W. Richardson, Jiyoung Park, James E. Moore II and Qisheng Pan
Chapter 10: The Gulf oil spill (FlexNIEMO)
Disasters, whether natural or man-made, often prompt responses that include compensation to victims. This can involve insurance companies, federal, state or local governments or industrial groups that share some of the culpability. All such compensation programs face the complex task of coming up with reasonable procedures to estimate the incidence of the losses. In recent years, the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund was created by the US Congress via the Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act. This was enacted shortly after the attacks to compensate victims or their families in exchange for their agreement not to take legal action against any of the airlines involved. Kenneth Feinberg was appointed to develop and administer the regulations and procedures governing the processing of claims. Feinberg was tasked with deciding and justifying how much compensation each family of a 9/11 victim could receive. His approach was to guestimate how much each victim would have earned in a full lifetime. If a family accepted his offer, it surrendered the right to appeal.
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