GM compensation program receives 4,180 claims until deadline

Article by Andrew Christian, on February 6, 2015

The program set up to compensate victims of General Motors’ defective ignition switches have received a total of 4,180 claims for deaths and injuries since commencing in August 2014 and wrapping up on January 31, 2015. So far, the program, headed by lawyer Kenneth Feinberg, has determined to be eligible for compensation 51 deaths, eight catastrophic injuries and 69 less serious injuries.

According to fund deputy administrator Camille Biros, more death, catastrophic injuries and less serious injuries will be found eligible as the program continues to process claims received. Biros disclosed to Reuters that claims had been surging and January was the heaviest months for filing as over 1,600 claims were filed with the compensation program.

Likewise, the total number of claims could increase further as any claims not yet received with a time stamp from before the deadline would still be accepted. She said that processing of claims to determined who and who are not eligible for compensation will be done through the end of spring.

Feinberg also managed high-profile victim compensation funds for the Sept. 11 attacks and Deepwater Horizon oil spill. GM tapped him to manage an out-of-court compensation program to compensate claims on behalf of people injured or killed because of the switch, setting aside between $400 million to $600 million.

The carmaker has given Feinberg free rein to determine who to compensate and will not challenge his decisions. It set aside $400 million to $600 million to pay for the program.

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