General Motors recently announced that they have paid out 130 ignition switch claims ahead of their Jan. 31 deadline; 51 death claims have been confirmed.
Kenneth Feinberg, the lawyer handling the compensation claims, spoke in an interview with CNBC on Feb. 2. Feinberg confirmed that approximately 4,180 claims have been filed and of those 450 have been for deaths.
We have authorized payment for 51 deaths and about another 70 or so physical injuries Feinberg said in the broadcast interview.
About 400 of the claims sent in were ineligible and another 800 were deficient in proof. About one third of all claims filed came in with no documentation; Feinberg is working with the claimants to try to get documents that would back up their allegations.
According to Feinberg, no claimants who were deemed eligible for compensation have rejected GM’s settlement offer. The company set aside $600 million to for the compensation fund, but it is not known if they will need to increase the amount. As many of the claims were filed just before the Dec. 31 deadline, they are still working to get a final tally on how many of the claimants will be eligible for a settlement.
Although the company set up the fund to field potential claims, General Motors is still facing upwards of 150 lawsuits. One lawsuit is being brought forth by drivers who allege that their vehicles are now valued for less than they originally estimated as a result of the company’s multiple recalls last year.
Furthermore, two members of Congress are also asking GM to extend the compensation fund deadline in case more people want to apply. However, the company believes that they have done enough to reach potential claimants.
The attorneys at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy have been monitoring the General Motors story closely since February 2014. We believe that General Motors needs to be held accountable for their negligence.
If you or someone you know was injured in an accident involving a recalled General Motors vehicle, contact our personal injury lawyers to determine what your legal rights are.