Feinberg Plan To Be Funded Out-Of-Pocket By GM
Kenneth Feinberg’s victim compensation plan for those severely affected by the ignition switch linked to 13 fatalities, 54 accidents and a recall of 2.6 million vehicles will not be funded by liability insurance, according to General Motors director of financial communications David Roman.
Automotive News reports the no-cap fund will be paid “through cash on hand,” which could amount to at least as much as $1 million per claim. Nir Kossovsky, CEO of Pitsburgh, Penn.-based Steel City Re, states that although this strategy will prove expensive, “it beats the alternative” of litigation as far as restoring reputation is concerned.
However, litigation will be the rule of the day for the automaker. One of the attorneys involved, Jere Beasley of Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles PC in Montgomery, Ala. says he has been contacted by 300 people alone in June wanting to pursue a lawsuit. He adds that while the compensation plan is mostly sound, Beasley takes issue with Feinberg’s sole authority over how claims will be handled, as well as the heavy burden of proof placed upon the claimants.
Here is a run down of the crashes. Marie Sachse 81 Mo, Car was in accessory No belt in use confirmed. Amber Rose 16 Md Car was in accessory, Unbelted confirmed speed 69 MPH in 25 zone Blood Alcohol was .17 Amy Rademaker 15 Wi Car was in accessory Unbelted confirmed. No one in the car had a belt. Speed 71 MPH Back seat passenger was also killed due to no belt. Amy Breen 42 Oh Car was in accessory. Belt Unconfirmed. She was seen slumped over the wheel in a suspected epileptic seizure. The car was estimated at leaving the road at up to 75 MPH. Zach Schoenbauch 19 and Joe Harding 19 Mi. Car in accessory Driver belted passenger not belted. Drivers Blood Alcohol was .12. Speed was reported to be between 65-93 MPH and the car was reported airborne in one story. Grace Elliot 13 Ester Matthews 73 PA. Car in accessory. They were both hit head on by a drunk driver who went left of center. Both wore no belts. Dan Marquis 23 Quebec Car in accessory and not much more information given Belt unconfirmed. Haysaya Chansuthus 25 Tn Car in accessory She did wear a belt and the belt failed Her blood alcohol was .19 Gene Erickdon 25 Passenger. Car in accessory. Passenger unbelted and the driver was under the influence of drugs with enough evidence to convict and settled with a plea. Shara Towne 37 CA car in accessory She was wearing a belt. All info here was found in more than one story by the Detroit News and New York Times. If you do your research you can gleam information from each story to put it together. Note none of these cars steering wheels locked and all were still drivable and had vacuum to the brakes before the crash. It is likely the cars went into accessory before or during the crash rendering the back off. It is also likely that the lack of belt use has contributed to the death and additional injuries suffered. It is very possible the death count would be half. Speed, drugs and alcohol were a direct factor or secondary factor in these cases as well as an illness. But yet, GM has to pay out. That's more criminal than anything GM did.
We can point at the drivers as being the culprit here but the point still stands that GM did not handle the problem and recall process as it should have. That doesn't mean GM is at fault and it does not mean the drivers are victims BUT.. the facts will hopefully speak for themselves and those that were not impaired or having a seizure will be justly compensated. Bets are off when they are doing 60 plus in a 25 mph zone or (if true) BAC was near .20.