Approval for 21 Death Claims against Defective GM Ignition Switches

Approval for 21 Death Claims against Defective GM Ignition Switches

An approval for 21 death claims has been given by the independent compensation fund for victims of defective ignition switches in General Motors Co. cars. The announcement was made on Monday by Lawyer Ken Feinberg's office, which is overseeing those hurt or killed as a result of faulty ignition switches in cars of General Motors.

The compensation fund has also given a green signal for four claims for serious injuries and 12 claims for less serious injuries. It had previously approved 19 deaths and 12 other claims on September 12.

As many as 675 claims for deaths and injuries were received by the fund as of Friday. The claims included 143 requests for death compensation, which was up from 131 the previous week. A week ago, there were 58 claims for serious injuries, but it has increased to 65 this week.

There were 467 claims for less serious injuries compared to 262 a week ago, marking the biggest leap in this category.

Camile Biros, the deputy compensation fund manager, said chances are high that the fund will begin offering its first compensation offers by the end of this week. At least $1 million will be paid by the fund for each death claim, besides $300,000 payments for surviving spouses and children for the pain and suffering they had to or have been going through.

Also, the fund will calculate the economic value of the loss of life. The funds began to receive the claim since August 1 and will accept them till December 31.

According to GM, it has set aside $400 million for claims, but the total could increase to $600 million. GM has already reached a first settlement with 19 families over the harms caused by its faulty ignition switch. The automaker initially thought that only 13 deaths were inflicted by its faulty ignition switch, but it increased the number to 19 after including backseat passengers who also died because of the faulty ignition switch.

"Our goal has been that every person impacted is a part of that program and that's the process that we're working through", said GM CEO Mary Barra.

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