Monday, August 24, 2015

GM ignition switch defects tied to 124 deaths, 275 injuries, Feinberg claim review finds

When the scandal blew open defective ignition slip claims against the automaker were barred by the statute of limitations, and the discharge in bankruptcy of all claims against "old GM".  Some, of course were settled confidentially.  The sorry affair was described in the Valukas report prepared by the Jenner & Block law firm for GM. - gwc

GM ignition switch defects tied to 124 deaths, 275 injuries, Feinberg claim review finds

by Nora Naughton // Crain's Automotive News

Attorney Kenneth Feinberg’s office has completed its review of all 4,000-plus compensation claims related to General Motors’ faulty ignition switches.

The switches, which prompted the recall of more than 2.6 million vehicles last year, now have beenlinked to 124 deaths and 275 injuries, 17 of which were serious.

GM hired Feinberg last year to independently compensate the victims of crashes caused by the defective switches, which can be jostled out of the “run” position by a knee or heavy key chain, cutting power to the engine and power steering.

A representative from Feinberg’s office was not immediately available for comment.

GM has set aside $625 million to pay victims. Death claims are eligible for a $1 million payout for the person who died and $300,000 each for a surviving spouse and any dependents.

Of the 275 injury claims approved by Feinberg’s office, 258 were for minor injuries, which required hospitalization or outpatient treatment within 48 hours of the accident. The remaining 17 injuries were serious, resulting in quadriplegia, paraplegia, double amputation, permanent brain damage or pervasive burns.

The payouts for victims of severe injuries vary and even can exceed those of death claims. Minor-injury claimants are eligible for payments from $20,000 to $500,000, depending on the length of hospital stay.

Of the 4,343 total claims received by Feinberg’s office, 3,944 -- roughly 90 percent -- were found ineligible.

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