By on September 23, 2014

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According to the latest report from the General Motors compensation program published Monday, 21 fatalities linked to the defective ignition switch that launched a thousand recalls will receive payments.

Reuters reports 675 claims for serious injury or death were submitted to attorney Kenneth Feinberg’s office since August 1, when acceptance began. The office also reported 16 serious injury claims were proclaimed eligible for compensation.

Out of the claims submitted thus far, 143 were fatality claims, up from 131 reported earlier last week. Meanwhile, the 21 claims paid-out exceed GM’s own reported 13 fatalities linked to the switch used in a handful of Chevrolet, Pontiac and Saturn compacts in the early to mid-2000s.

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7 Comments on “Feinberg: 21 Fatality Claims Eligible For Compensation...”


  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    How many of the 21 were hammered drunk?

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Don’t drunks have a right not to be killed by GM?

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      My guess would be that GM would call that mitigating circumstances to lessen GM’s culpability.

      Ditto with texting, driving while on the phone, putting on make-up, clipping toe-nails, eating or drinking, etc etc etc; things that many people have been caught doing while driving.

      If they hadn’t been doing those things they would not have lost control of their vehicle which caused the rough ride to trip the ignition switch to the off position.

      Ergo, claim denied.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        The problem is any pothole, dip, hard braking, frost heave, etc, can switch the engine/airbags OFF. You don’t need to be drunk or texting for that to happen. Simply breaking a law shouldn’t be a death sentence. Had they broken the same law in a Chrysler, they’d likely be alive Today.

        I’d say they (their families) all have valid claim against GM regardless of what they shouldn’t have been doing behind the wheel.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          DM, Yup, I agree! But the burden of proof remains with the victim or the survivors.

          It’s like the driver who gets a speeding ticket they don’t deserve. You know, like in the case where the radar gun says that a stationary stop sign is going 60mph. Plenty of precedence there.

          How can they prove that they weren’t speeding? They can’t. They’ll just have to suck it up and deal with it.

          When someone gets killed because of faulty equipment or an equipment malfunction, ultimately the blame lies with the buyer who of their own free will chose to buy that machinery.

          Had they bought something else, like the Chrysler you mentioned, they’d be alive today.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Once a crash can be directly linked to a failed switch rendering a car uncontrollable/unstoppable, the burden of proof falls back on GM to prove the crash would have happened anyways, because the victims were drunk, texting, etc.

            Having most deceased victims, that were stone sober and not distracted at the time, simply disproves that theory.

            And the burden of proof would be on GM to prove these particular deaths would have happened anyways, with or without working airbags.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            DM, most of the accident cases have already been settled and closed, with causes listed as being anything and all other than directly related to the faulty ignition switch tripping off and disabling the airbags.

            Do you think that all these different jurisdictions are going to volunteer to re-open and re-analyze those cases? How many reconstructionists are going to jump up and shout, “Yes, I may have been wrong in my analysis.”?

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