A judge’s plan to appoint noted settlement master Ken Feinberg in the talcum powder bankruptcy came as little surprise given that both sides are far apart on mediation. But Feinberg, who helped negotiate and administer high-profile mass tort settlements for victims of 9/11 and opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma, won’t serve as a mediator this time.
New Jersey Chief Bankruptcy Judge Michael Kaplan said Feinberg’s role in the Chapter 11 case of Johnson & Johnson’s LTL Management would be as a “court-appointed estimation expert,” which is not a new role in bankruptcies but also not that common. Feinberg would prepare a report on the value and volume of current and future claims alleging talcum powder caused ovarian cancer or mesothelioma.
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