Feinberg: 19 Deaths Thus Far Linked To Faulty GM Ignition
Over a month since the first claims were filed by those affected by a defective General Motors ignition switch originally linked to 31 accidents and 13 deaths, compensation administrator and attorney Kenneth Feinberg has found a total of 19 deaths and 31 eligible claims thus far.
CNN Money reports 125 death and 320 accident claims have been submitted since the filing period began August 1 of this year. Out of the filings, 31 claims were found eligible, while most remain under review as of this writing. Additionally, less than 12 claims were denied to date.
Aside from the 19 deaths, Feinberg found four of the accident claimants suffered severe injuries — quadriplegia, serious burns, brain damage et al — in crashes tied to the switch, with another eight reporting less severe injuries.
Finally, the majority of the claims filed were tied to young drivers operating their first car when their injuries or fatalities occurred.
As for why the death toll rose in the compensation program, Feinberg noted that his program’s “proximate cause” standard was “easier to satisfy” from a legal standpoint, whereas the GM engineers who reported on the original 13 linked fatalities were doing so from an engineering point-of-view.
Compensation per claim ranges from $20,000 for less serious injuries, to $1 million plus an estimated future earnings potential and $300,000/surviving spouse/dependent for deaths caused by the switch. Those who accept must forego suing the automaker in exchange.
Feinberg’s office will accept claims until the end of 2014, with all claims reviewed by the middle of next year. Approximately 100 claims are filed each week with the office at present.
Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.
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