General Motors’ program for compensating victims of accidents related to faulty ignition switches has approved claims for 19 deaths. The approved claims were among 125 death claims filed as of Sept. 12 with the program, which is being overseen by attorney and victim-compensation expert Kenneth Feinberg. The approved claims are now awaiting a decision on payment amounts.
It is expected that more claims would be received as the program accepts them until Dec. 31, 2014. Camille Biros, deputy administrator of the compensation program, did not say whether any of the 13 deaths that GM has officially tied to the faulty switches were included in the 19 eligible claims. According to Biros, the program has not rejected any claim so far, although it is “getting close to that point.”
The program has also accepted four claims of catastrophic injuries: quadriplegia; paraplegia; double amputation; and permanent brain damage or pervasive burns sustained in crashes.
Also accepted are eight claims for injuries requiring hospitalization or outpatient medical treatment within 48 hours of crashes. The program received 445 claims as of Sept. 12 – including 125 death claims; 58 claims of catastrophic injuries; and 262 claims of injuries requiring hospitalization.
The rest are either under review or awaiting further documentation. GM spokesman Dave Roman said the carmaker will the determinations made by Feinberg and his team for the compensation program.