General Motors, which acknowledged that a 2.6 million cars recall issued in February was at least a decade late, has now been served a lawsuit that consolidates into one single case more than 650 plaintiffs.
The 658 plaintiffs, including 29 that filed claims for people who died, had their cases consolidated in the Manhattan federal court – with the lawyer who filed the suit, Robert Hilliard stating the trial doesn’t necessarily involve claims in relation to the initial 2.6 million cars recall.
Since February, GM moved to recall almost 15 million vehicles in ignition switch related actions. For the initial 2.6 million cars – linked to at least 54 crashes and 13 fatalities, GM also set up a victims’ compensation fund. The program is not designed to accept claims from accidents stemming from other recalls or from crashes in which the airbags deployed.
Hilliard said the suit involves plaintiffs that would be illegible for the program, but also includes people who are eligible according to the fund’s criteria, but would not receive what they consider to be “fair value” for their claims. For example – Kenneth Feinberg – who runs the victims’ compensation fund, stated that an injured person who remained hospitalized for just one night would only be eligible for a $20,000 payment.