Kenneth R. Feinberg is the special master who oversaw the distribution of compensation to victims and families of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack.

He also worked as the Wall Street pay tsar and has recently taken up the job of handing out BP money to people harmed by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Now, in court papers filed lastweek in Brooklyn, we learn that Feinberg also reviewed the proposed $5 million that American Airlines agreed to pay to settle a lawsuit alleging it and others conspired to fix prices on cargo shipping.

Acting as mediator, Feinstein found:

“The settlement discussions between Plaintiffs and AA were always at arm’s length and non-collusive. Both sides vigorously negotiated their respective positions on all material terms of the Settlement Agreement.”

and

“In addition to overseeing the negotiations themselves, I had independent access to
factual information from AA. Based on this information and my experience, I recommended and endorsed the proposed settlement as fair, reasonable, and adequate.”

In its filing, the plaintiffs’ attorneys said they had a pretty good idea of the potential evidence for and against American Airlines if the case had proceeded:

“… Plaintiffs’ Co-Lead Counsel were informed of the facts conceming liability and damages issues and the relative strengths and weaknesses of each side’s litigation position. All of this led Plaintiffs’ Co-Lead Counsel to conclude that, while AA did face some risk of liability, it would be difficult for Plaintiffs to obtain a judgment against it, given the evidence.”

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