Every case comes down to a handful of key issues.
Which means two things: You have to identify those issues, and you have to present them as clearly and compellingly as possible. In my experience, you can not do either until you have done the work: Turning over every rock, exploring every possible counter-argument, testing and re-testing every assumption.
Give me the choice between a “smart” lawyer and a hardworking lawyer, I will take the hard worker every time. In my experience, the hard worker is usually smarter anyway. Because the simple truth is, there are not any shortcuts to the simple truths that make or break a case.
– Edgar C. Gentle, III
Ed Gentle was born in Birmingham, Alabama, February 17, 1953. He graduated summa cum laude in 1975 from Auburn University where he was a Danforth Scholar and earned a Bachelor of Science degree. In 1977, he received a Master of Science (summa cum laude) from the University of Miami as a Maytag Fellow where he became familiar with the law of the sea and international resource planning issues involving competing nations.
He was a Rhodes Scholar (Auburn’s second and Miami’s first) at Oxford University where he earned a B.A. degree with honors in Jurisprudence in 1979. He received a M.A. degree from Oxford in 1980. He then attended the University of Alabama School Of Law as a Hugo Black Scholar. He earned his J.D. and was admitted to the Alabama State Bar in 1981.
Mr. Gentle has comprehensive experience in serving as Special Master and Claims Administrator in Mass Tort Litigation, and providing claims administration and financial and business advice to Courts, Settling Parties, and Mass Tort Settlements. He has helped create and administer over $2 Billion in Settlements during the past 20 years.
From 1992 to 2015, Mr. Gentle has served as Special Master and Escrow Agent for the MDL 926 Global Breast Implant Settlement, paying over $1.1 billion dollars in claims. From 2001 until 2003, he was Interim Financial Adviser for the Settlement Facility – Dow Corning Trust (the Dow Corning Breast Implant Settlement) overseeing the investment of over $1 billion and providing tax and accounting support for the Settlement.
Commencing in December 2003, Mr. Gentle was appointed as the Settlement Administrator in the $300 million Anniston, Alabama Tolbert PCB Settlement with Monsanto and Solutia in connection with the administration of a Global Settlement before the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Alabama applicable to approximately 18,000 claimants with respect to PCB contamination of property and PCB personal injury claims. In administering the $300 million settlement, Mr. Gentle has designed the claimant payment program for property damage and personal injury, collected criteria for payments for each of the 18,000 Claimants, ranked the claimants for payment amounts, and remitted payments to each of the claimants. He now helps manage a medical clinic for the claimants in Anniston.
In 2015, Mr. Gentle successfully mediated a Settlement of the Perrine v. DuPont case in Harrison County, West Virginia, involving a closed Zinc Smelter site in Spelter, West Virginia, with a medical monitoring and a property remediation component. In 2013, Mr. Gentle was appointed Medical Monitoring Administrator in a groundwater contamination settlement in Mingo County, West Virginia.
One of Mr. Gentle’s specialties, such as the Anniston PCB Settlement described above, a groundwater contamination case in Camden, New Jersey, a warehouse fire settlement in Conyers, Georgia, and Zinc Smelter Settlements in Spelter, West Virginia and Blackwell, Oklahoma.
From 2009 to 2015, Mr. Gentle served as Claims Administrator in the Jefferson County, Alabama, Occupation Tax Refund Case before the Honorable David Rains, in the Circuit Court of Jefferson County. On May 14, 2010, the Supreme Court of Alabama upheld $37 million of the Judgment. The Parties entered into a Settlement, which was approved by the Court, tax refunds were issued to over 300,000 claimants.
In June 2010, Mr. Gentle was appointed Special Master and Settlement Administrator in the Total Body Multi-district Litigation, MDL 1985. Working closely with the Court, Mr. Gentle facilitated the aggregate settlement of 222 of the 245 cases, in August 2010. Mr. Gentle and his staff determined the value of each of the settled cases, which was consented to by all 222 settling Plaintiffs, and Mr. Gentle is administering the Settlement.
In March 2012, Mr. Gentle was appointed Special Master of the $140 Million Blackwell, Oklahoma Zinc Smelter Settlement.
Mr. Gentle is Special Master in the national MDL Blue Cross Antitrust Litigation (MDL 2406)….@, with putative provider and subscriber classes, before the Honorable R. David Proctor, having been appointed in 2012.
In November 2014, Mr. Gentle was appointed one of three Special Masters of the $1 Billion Stryker Hip Settlement.
In August 2014, Mr. Gentle was appointed to Administer the Westpoint, KY Train Derailment Settlement and Appointed Special Master.
Ed Gentle is a member of the Birmingham and American Bar Associations—as well as the Alabama State Bar.
In 2015 Mr. Gentle was appointed Common Benefit Special Master in the CHS MDL before The Federal District Court in Birmingham, AL. In December 2015 and July 2016 Mr. Gentle was appointed Special Master to administer two Smith and Nephew aggregate settlements in the State Circuit Court in Memphis, TN. In March 2017 Mr. Gentle was appointed Special Master by the Federal District Court in Louisville, KY to administer the potential aggregate settlement of personal injury and property claims respecting a defunct Federal Mogul plant site in Bowling Green, KY.
In March 2017, Mr. Gentle was elected President of the Academy of Court Appointed Masters, founded by Francis McGovern and Ken Feinberg.