MONTGOMERY, ALA. (January 27, 2015) – The latest report released by General Motors (GM) victim compensation fund administrator Kenneth Feinberg lists 50 eligible death claims. There has been a total of 338 death claims submitted since the fund began accepting claims on Aug. 1. The deadline to submit claims to the fund is January 31.
A total of 3,068 claims, including those for deaths and injuries, have been submitted for consideration. As of Jan. 23, 2,730 claims have been 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 75 injury claims have been determined eligible.
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 Jan. 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.
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.