According to the independent lawyer overseeing GM’s ignition switch compensation fund, the largest US automaker received 141 new compensation claims during the past week.
General Motors last February announced a recall that would encompass 2.6 million older cars equipped with defective ignition switches, ultimately admitting that it failed to order the safety campaign for more than a decade. The ensuing scandal led to numerous investigations, congress hearings, lawsuits and the establishment of the ignition fund, designed to compensate victims and run by Kenneth Feinberg, an outside attorney with experience in managing such programs – he ran the similar funds for the victims of the 9/11 terror attacks and the BP oil spill from 2010. Now, the official is administering the GM compensation fund, set to receive claims from victims and families of deceased people claims until the end of the month, after the original term was extended until January 31.
So far, the fund has received a total of 2,710 claims – counting last week’s 141 – with 303 claims for deaths, 202 for catastrophic injuries and 2,205 for less-serious injuries that required hospitalization but left no permanent injuries. According to the refreshed weekly report, the number of eligible claims for compensation has gone up from 100 to 112 – the fund is expected to award north of $1 million for each fatality and the final tally can go up if the victim had dependants. Of the eligible claims, 45 are for fatalities; seven involve severe injuries and 60 other injuries. Another 320 claims were rendered ineligible and the lawyers were still reviewing 738.