Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Death toll from defective GM ignition switches rises to 114

Last year the Valukas report - prepared by Jenner & Block for the GM Board presented a devastating presentation of the willful blindness entrenched by GM's General Counsel.  Since the blind do not see it appears that no one knew or cared to know of the scale of the catastrophe an odd little flaw in the ignition switch mechanism had wrought.

Phrases like getting away with murder come to mind.  GM was shielded by the bankruptcy of "old GM" and the continuation of its business b "new GM".  In my view the discharge was fraudulently obtained by GM due to that willful blindness.  GM should hae been subjected to civil liability including punitive damages.

The company smartly appointed Kenneth Feinberg to clean up the mess by offering settlements to claimants - free, of course, from the threat of punitive damages.

But the Justice Department has not concluded its investigation and indictments seem likely.  - gwc

Death toll from defective GM ignition switches rises to 114

DETROIT (AP) — The death toll from faulty ignition switches in General Motors small cars has risen by three to 114.
Victims’ families are being offered compensation of at least $1 million each by attorney Kenneth Feinberg, who was hired by GM last year. In addition, Feinberg will make offers to 229 people who were injured in crashes caused by the switches in the Chevrolet Cobalt and other older cars.
GM recalled 2.6 million of the cars last year, but acknowledged it knew about the switch problems for more than a decade.
Feinberg’s compensation fund received 4,342 claims by the Jan. 31 deadline. About 3 percent remain under review. About 90 percent were deemed deficient or ineligible. So far, Feinberg has made 245 compensation offers; 179 have been accepted and six rejected, Camille Biros, deputy administrator of the compensation fund, said in an email. Sixty offers are still being considered, she said.
GM paid $200 million to settle claims filed with Feinberg as of March 31.
Through last year, GM estimated that 13 people had died because of the switches, but the company said that number would rise. Lawmakers estimated the total would be more than 100.

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