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Sept. 11, State Fair compensation expert Feinberg to speak

September 10, 2012

Attorney and victim compensation expert Kenneth Feinberg will speak Tuesday at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis about efforts to compensate victims of the Indiana State Fair stage collapse that included an unsuccessful settlement offer.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller and other attorneys involved in the compensation process will join Feinberg for a panel discussion called “Was the State Fair?” The discussion will be moderated by McKinney law professor Robert A. Katz, an expert on charitable relief for disaster victims and the relationship between tort compensation and charitable gifts for the same injuries.

Other panelists will include Matt Light, deputy attorney general and chief counsel of advisory services; Paul Mullin, a partner with Lewis & Wilkins LLP; and Tony Patterson, a partner with Parr Richey Obremskey Frandsen & Patterson LLP.

Feinberg, who also oversaw the compensation fund for victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, will speak about Indiana’s efforts to bring together plaintiffs and defendants in litigation involving the 2011 stage collapse that killed seven people and injured dozens. The event will take place on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.  

Feinberg helped the Indiana attorney general's office devise a program for resolving legal claims resulting from the stage collapse. 

Victims were collectively compensated up to the state’s statutory cap of $5 million, and the Legislature authorized an additional one-time payment of $6 million for distribution to victims. Mid-America Sound Corp., one of two companies that offered an additional $7.2 million to victims, withdrew from the settlement last month after 51 of 62 claimants agreed to settlement terms, which the company deemed insufficient.

James Thomas Engineering also had agreed to take part in the settlement, which had been designed to increase compensation for victims and let them obtain payments without litigation.

Tuesday’s event will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Wynne Courtroom. Feinberg will sign copies of his new book, “Who Gets What: Fair Compensation after Tragedy and Financial Upheaval,” afterward in the Conour Atrium.

More information is available a on the law school's website.

 

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