Volkswagen announced last week that it has hired attorney Kenneth R. Feinberg to oversee a claims resolution plan to compensate vehicle owners affected by its diesel-emissions cheat scandal. Jere L. Beasley, Principal & Founder of Montgomery-based law firm Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C., says it’s a smart move on behalf of the automaker, likely to be beneficial to both consumers and VW.

Mr. Beasley and his firm have worked with Mr. Feinberg on a number of high-profile cases. Mr. Feinberg recently completed his work as head of the General Motors Ignition Compensation Claims Resolution Facility, where he oversaw the processing of thousands of personal injury and wrongful death claims submitted by victims and families who claimed to have been harmed by GM’s defective ignition switches. Mr. Feinberg also administered compensation funds for victims of BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, a case in which Beasley Allen attorneys were actively involved, both on behalf of the State of Alabama and for individual and business claimants throughout the Gulf Coast Region.

“Mr. Feinberg has extensive experience with this type of complicated litigation, and he has proven himself to be fair and thorough,” Mr. Beasley said. “I’m pleased that he’ll be handling these claims, and I think his work will be good for consumers and also good for the company.”

Volkswagen has admitted to writing code into the software of nearly half a million diesel vehicles it sold in the U.S. that turned on pollution controls when it detected the vehicle to be in emissions inspection and shut them off in normal daily use. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated the vehicles could emit up to 40 times more nitrogen oxide than allowed by federal law. The automaker has not said how it will fix the problem, but the installation of proper emissions controls will almost certainly translate to slower, heavier vehicle performance. Lawyers from Beasley Allen are joining with other firms to file a nationwide class action lawsuit on behalf of Volkswagen owners.

Mr. Feinberg also has administered compensation funds for victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, and the 9/11 Compensation fund.

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