US: GM ignition switch fund to make compensation offers for 124 fatality claims image

The administrator of the General Motors ignition switch victims’ compensation fund has recently completed the review of 4,342 claims, deciding that 124 death claims are now eligible for compensation.

Kenneth Feinberg and his office, selected as the independent runner of the compensation fund, could release a review of the work done as early as next week, according to a source that has knowledge of the matter. That means the fund will offer compensation to the families of the 124 death victims – each eligible for one million dollars or more (the figure surges if the victim had dependants) as well to the hundreds of injured people. The review will not signal the completion of the fund’s work, because the people eligible for compensation have 90 days to accept or reject the offer and so far not all positive offers have been paid. The claims have been submitted by the families of people who died in crashes or people that were injured in the cars recalled last year for ignitions witch defects – the ignition could jump out of the “run” position, stopping the engine and cutting power to crucial safety systems – such as power steering, power brakes and the airbags.

Feinberg has also been implicated in overseeing similar funds for the victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and for the damages produced by BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Besides the 124 fatality claims, the lawyer and his team also found to be eligible for compensation 17 cases of life-altering injuries such as paralysis, loss of limbs, permanent brain damage or pervasive burns. Another 257 claims have been approved on behalf of people that incurred less severe injuries that still required outpatient treatment.