Consumer advocacy group 'cautiously optimistic' in Kenneth Feinberg hiring amid GM recall
Friday, April 4, 2014

A consumer advocacy group that has been critical of high-profile attorney Kenneth Feinberg’s involvement in handling claims in the wake of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill is calling for oversight as General Motors weighs its own response to the recall of a deadly vehicle part malfunction.

Joanne Doroshow, executive director of the Center for Justice and Democracy at New York Law School, said her group is “cautiously optimistic” with the GM’s retention of Feinberg.

“We’re cautious because his experience with the BP Gulf (of Mexico) oil spill and him running the claims down there was extremely controversial,” Doroshow said.

A federal judge in 2011 ruled that Feinberg had to change the way he was communicating with claimants as he oversaw a $20 billion escrow fund to reimburse victims of the ongoing disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Feinberg was telling claimants he was independent while having them sign agreements to not sue the company, when he was in fact being compensated by BP.

“We’re also a little concerned with the fact that he would be on GM’s payroll, working with the company, and making these decisions, and therefore there has to be clear oversight of this process,” Doroshow said.


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