First 19 Families Settle With GM Over Ignition Switch Deaths
GM has reached a settlement with 19 families over its faulty ignition switch, but this marks just the first of the settlements that will likely be reached by the time the dust settles. At 19, that number is already higher than the 13 deaths initially identified by GM along with federal safety regulators. According to the Detroit Free Press, the news came from attorney Ken Feinberg, who was hired by the manufacturer to oversee distribution of money from GM's victim settlement fund. He began taking applications from families seeking restitution Aug. 1 and will continue to accept applications through the end of the year. So far, 125 families have filed. RELATED: See Photos of the 2006 Pontiac Solstice Roadster
The remainder of the applications haven't been refused, but rather haven't been resolved. Either they are still under review to determine eligibility or sufficient paperwork hasn't been submitted in support of the claim. Those 19 families whose applications were approved are each receiving at least $1 million and an estimate of each victim's lost earning potential. In order to receive the settlement, families also had to agree not to sue GM in the future.
There are also claims resulting not from deaths, but from serious injuries sustained as a result of the faulty ignition switch. A total of 58 applications were filed for debilitating injuries and 262 applications for less serious injuries. Of those, only four serious-injury accidents and eight less-serious injuries accidents have been granted compensation.
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Although filing ends at the end of the year, Feinberg expects the processing of claims to extend until the middle of 2015.
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