Feinberg Finalizes GM Victim Compensation Fund
Yesterday, Kenneth Feinberg, independently hired to handle the GM ignition switch recall compensation plan, detailed his plans for the GM victim compensation fund, which seeks to compensate anyone involved in an accident related to the ignition switch recall. The compensation fund will begin to accept applications on August 1, 2014, and will continue to accept them through December 31, 2014. Feinberg added that he expects all work to be completed by midway next year.
In an honorable move, General Motors gave Feinberg total control over the GM victim compensation fund. Whatever he decides is what the company will follow through with.
Feinberg stated that there will be no limit to the amount that could be awarded for individual claims, but all those who accept the compensation cannot sue GM. Any accident in one of the recalled vehicles in which an airbag did not deploy is fair game for this compensation fund. Furthermore, anyone involved in these specific accidents (frontal crashes where the airbags should have deployed), and not just those in the front seats, can file independent claims; this includes people in the back seats, in other cars, and pedestrians, and will most definitely boost the fatality count up from 13.
Also of note is that negligence will not be an issue. Victims of accidents that involved texting, drinking, speeding, or other distractions can still file claims. In addition, Feinberg has stated that those who have already settled may file again for more money (if they are entitled to it), minus what they have already been awarded.
Victims will not have to prove that the airbag did not deploy “absolutely,” but must show that it “probably” did not.
GM anticipates that about 90 percent of claims will be settled with this fund. The other 10 percent will likely settle in court.
GM Victim Compensation Fund FAQ
GM Victim Compensation Fund Final Protocol
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