MONTGOMERY, ALA. (October 22, 2014) – The latest report released by General Motors (GM) victim compensation fund administrator Kenneth Feinberg lists 29 eligible death claims. There has been a total of 184 death claims submitted since the fund began accepting claims on Aug. 1. There were 19 new death claims submitted to the fund since the fund’s last report, issued Oct. 3. A total of 1,517 claims, including those for deaths and injuries, have been submitted for consideration. The numbers break down as follows:
|Report Date||Total Claims Submitted||Total Claims Eligible|
|Sept. 26||867 (153 death, 714 injury)||39 (23 death, 16 injury)|
|Oct. 3||1,130 (165 death, 965 injury)||40 (24 death, 16 injury)|
|Oct. 17||1,517 (184 death, 1,333 injury)||56 (29 death, 27 injury)|
There were 368 new claims submitted for injuries, in both Category One and Category Two. Category One covers claims for serious injuries, which may include quadriplegia, paraplegia, double amputation, permanent brain damage or pervasive burns. Category Two covers claims for less serious injuries. So far 27 injury claims have been determined eligible.
Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C., and The Cooper Firm in Marietta, Ga., selected representative claims to be filed with the fund. Selected claims meet the eligibility criteria and each is expected to be paid.
As of Oct. 21, Beasley Allen has submitted 28 claims to the fund, consisting of five deaths, two Category One injuries and 21 Category Two injuries. Our firm has thus far had awards made in a total of four claims, consisting of one death claim and three Category Two claims. The Cooper firm has filed a total of 20 claims so far. The Cooper Firm has so far secured three awards, one for a death claim and two for Category One claims. So, in combination, there have been seven awards.
GM’s defective ignition switch has prompted the recall of more than 17 million vehicles to date. Drivers, passengers and pedestrians killed or injured by one of the defective GM vehicles may file a claim with the fund through Dec. 31.
GM has earmarked $400 million in its budget to cover potential payments through the fund, and has told investors the total payout may be even higher. There is no cap on the fund.
The fund covers a range of GM vehicles including the Chevrolet Cobalt and Saturn Ion. However, the fund does not cover many vehicles affected by similar ignition switch problems. It remains to be seen if GM will address issues stemming from those vehicles. GM has recalled more than 17 million vehicles related to the ignition switch problem that can leave a vehicle without power and the driver unable to control the vehicle in sudden and dangerous situations. Investigations have revealed GM knew about the ignition switch defect for 11 years before disclosing it to safety regulators and the public.
GM overall program statistics