According to the already traditional weekly report coming from the office of Kenneth Feinberg, the lawyer overseeing GM’s ignition switch victims’ compensation fund, the US automaker has received 64 new claims for compensation in the past seven days.
Back in February, General Motors opened Pandora’s Box after it announced it was calling back 2.6 million cars equipped with defective ignition switches, which could trigger an engine cut off mid-driving, thus killing power and rendering essential safety equipments – including airbags – useless. The company has been deeply involved in a massive scandal after it was revealed it had prior knowledge of the deadly defect for at least a decade.
Now, the ignition switch victims’ compensation fund subsequently set up has reached a total of 2,326 claims for ignition switch defects in the GM cars that led to fatalities, critical or minor injuries. As of last week, the automaker has received a total of 251 claims that involve fatalities, 156 for catastrophic injuries and another 1,919 for less-serious injuries requiring hospitalization.
Of those, the company’s program, overseen independently by Feinberg, has deemed eligible 42 deaths, seven severe injuries and 51 other injuries. The lawyer in charge of the fund has been involved in other high-profile compensation cases, such as the 9/11 terror attacks and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.