GM Compensation Fund Deadline Passes
Posted on behalf of Harbin & Burnett on Feb 04, 2015 in Defective Products
Since launching a victim compensation fund in late 2014, General Motors Corporation (GM) has received more than 4,000 claims from injured car accident victims and surviving loved ones.
Bloomberg News reports indicate that as the Jan. 31, 2015, claims deadline approached, hundreds of claims were filed at the last minute.
Of the 4,000 accident injury claims submitted by victims to the fund, more than 450 of the claims alleged that the victim died. The remaining claims only concerned injuries. As of early February, the fund has successfully settled 130 claims.
The fund is being administered by attorney Kenneth Feinberg who is making decisions independently of executives including GM CEO Mary Barra. Feinberg has stated that though the application deadline has passed, decisions on the individual claims may not be completed until late spring or early summer.
According to Feinberg, claims will be evaluated on the basis of the evidence including accident reports, pictures, medical records, whether the car was recalled and whether the airbag failed to deploy. Currently, the fund will not be compensating individuals who were injured in recalled vehicles where the airbag did deploy.
Feinberg, who also handled the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, is widely seen as a competent and fair administrator. GM has put a reported $600 million aside to compensate victims. Feinberg notes, however, that depending on the injuries, GM is willing to continue to increase the amount set aside for compensation.
While individuals who accept offers from the fund waive their right to sue, thousands of other individuals have filed lawsuits across the country alleging injury. Many of these injured car accident victims have decided to have attorneys represent them instead of accepting offers from GM.
Additionally, the company is also facing a massive lawsuit from millions of GM owners who have banded together to allege that the companys extensive recalls have decreased the value of their vehicles. While GM has been conciliatory on the ignition switch-related injuries, the company is vigorously fighting the economic value claims.
It is clear that GMs recall-related legal woes are far from over. Expect to hear more about the developments in these cases throughout all of 2015.
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