According to the lawyer’s office in charge of administering General Motors’ ignition switch victims’ compensation fund, the automaker last week received another 75 compensation claims, with the total now at 4,312.
If you followed the weekly news feed about GM’s program you might have noticed that the company’s deadline for filling claims has already passed (January 31), but the official that handles the program also announced that any claims postmarked by that date are still eligible to be reviewed. So, through last Friday the carmaker had an outstanding tally of 478 claims for death, 288 for catastrophic injuries and 3,546 for less-serious injuries requiring hospitalization. The number of eligible claims also soared from 131 to 143 last week. They are comprised of 56 deaths, nine severe injuries and 78 other injuries, all eligible for payment, according to a report from lawyer Kenneth Feinberg, which has experience in directing such funds – he was previously involved in the ones that compensated victims of the 9/11 terror attacks and 2010 BP oil spill.
Last year the largest US automaker announced the recall of 2.6 million cars for defective ignition switches and subsequent inquiries established that the company was late at least a decade with the safety campaign. The fund was subsequently established to compensate the victims’ and families and to fend off potentially costlier lawsuits. So far, the automaker has already set aside an initial $400 million for the compensations, but also announced the fund was uncapped and that Feinberg was the sole responsible for determining the necessary amounts.