US: GM ignition fund sees injury claims at 272 image

The General Motors ignition switch victims’ compensation fund administrator announced Monday three new injury claims have been approved over the past week.

No new death claims have been approved during the time as the fund is ready to complete its lengthy review by the end of the month. The program has been administrated by the office of lawyer Kenneth Feinberg, an attorney with ample experience in such cases, being involved in similar funds for the victims’ of the 9/11 terror attacks and 2010 BP oil spill. Feinberg said the fund has approved a total of 396 claims – 124 fatalities and 272 injury clams, with 17 for serious injuries and the rest for less severe injuries. The fund has also revised one of the previously approved injury claims to a less serious one. The fund has to review just seven death and 142 injury claims – which could take the total death toll to a maximum of 131. The fund said its final toll would be released by mid-August. General Motors, the largest US automaker and the third biggest in the world announced recently it was seeing the fund’s total costs at around $625 million – surging from the past estimate of $550 million. The carmaker also announced it has already settled some claims, spending $280 million in the process.

The automaker is paying at least one million dollars for each death claim, more if the person had dependents. GM compensation fund deputy director Camille Biros has announced last week the program has initiated 319 offers – 95 of them for fatalities – and a total of 227 have been accepted so far, with six rejections and 86 pending.