General Motors Company (GM) has started the process of paying out claims based on its defective ignition switches.
The switches caused the recall of millions of vehicles across the United States as well as countries around the world. The faulty switches could cause the engine to turn off when the vehicle was jostled, leading to car accidents which were especially dangerous because the defect also caused the airbags to fail.
The settlement fund was created by GM to resolve accident claims which may have been barred by the automakers bankruptcy case in 2009. GM is prepared to pay up to $600 million to settle the claims of those who qualify for the settlement. The due date to file a claim was Saturday, January 31.
The GM Compensation Fund is being managed by Kenneth Feinberg, an independent lawyer enlisted by the company to manage the claim applications. Feinberg gained fame for also managing settlement fund distributions after events like the September 11 attacks and the BP oil spill.
As of the due date, more than 4,180 cases had been filed with the compensation fund. Of these cases, GM has settled with 51 families who lost a loved one due to the defective ignition switches, as well as roughly 70 different claimants who were injured in accidents.
Over six hundred claims were filed against the fund in the ten days leading up to the settlement deadline. Feinberg and his team are still assessing the merits of thousands of cases. Nearly 3,000 claims were filed with deficient information, and the settlement fund is working with these claimants to finish the application process and determine whether or not the individuals qualify.
Though people who believe that a defective ignition switch may have caused their accident are now barred from filing a claim with the compensation fund, these people may still be able to file lawsuits against GM individually.
In the event that you or your relative was harmed in an auto accident, and you think that a vehicle defect may be at fault, contact a Fort Worth personal injury attorney at Anderson Cummings. Our accomplished attorneys have the experience you need on your side to hold negligent auto manufacturers responsible.
Call (817) 920-9000 to schedule your free consultation today.