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GM Fund Denies 91 Percent of Ignition Recall Claims

Automaker faces hundreds of wrongful death lawsuits.

by on Aug.25, 2015

GM's compensation fund for victims of its faulty ignition switch denied 91% of the claims filed.

The team handling the fund established by General Motors completed processing the more than 4,300 claims submitted, denying 91% of them.

GM recalled nearly 2.6 million small cars last year due to a faulty ignition switch. The switch allowed the ignition to move from the “on” to the “accessories” position, cutting the power to the car’s power steering and airbag.

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Led by Kenneth Feinberg, the attorney who oversaw similar funds for BP, 9/11 victims and other events, the fund approved 399 of the 4,343 claims filed and rejected 3,944. (more…)

GM Fund Finds Switches Caused 124 Deaths

Feinberg processes last of claims filed.

by on Aug.12, 2015

GM victims' fund czar Kenneth Feinberg approved payouts for 124 death claims.

The fund established by General Motors to compensate the victims killed or injured in vehicles with the maker’s faulty ignition switch will pay claims to 398 people or their families.

GM ordered the recall of nearly 2.6 million small cars in 2014 equipped with the switches after it was determined that they could slip into the “accessory” position while the vehicle was in motion, cutting power to the steering and airbags.

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As a result, the fund determined there were 124 deaths and 274 injuries attributable to the switch. GM initially said there were just 13 deaths related to the switches. Death benefit claims begin at $1 million and rise depending upon a variety of factors. (more…)

GM Beats Q2 Forecast with Nearly $1.2 Bil Net Income

EBIT-adjusted earnings are best for any quarter since 2009 bankruptcy.

by on Jul.23, 2015

General Motors CEO Mary Barra remains upbeat about the coming months despite problems in China.

Despite being hit with a $1.1 billion special charge, General Motors managed to deliver a second-quarter profit of nearly $1.2 billion, or $0.67 a share – its biggest three-month profit since emerging from bankruptcy in July 2009 – with strong demand for its North American trucks helping fuel the strong performance.

Factoring in one-time charges equal to $0.62 a share, GM handily outperformed the Wall Street consensus forecast of $1.08 per share. And the second-quarter numbers compared with the modest $190 million, or $0.11, GM reported for the April-June 2014 numbers.

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“The first two quarters of the year were strong as we fully capitalized on a robust North American industry and maintained our strength in China, despite the challenging conditions in that market,” GM CEO Mary Barra said in a statement. “We said our goal was to improve our earnings and margins this year, and we are on plan.

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GM’s $600 Mil Victims Fund Completes Claims

Feinberg team finishes processing of benefit applications.

by on Jul.13, 2015

Kenneth Feinberg, administrator fo GM's victims compensation fund, said the team has processed all of the benefit claims.

The team administering the compensation fund for victims of General Motors faulty ignition switches, led by Kenneth Feinberg, has processed the last of the more than 4,000 claims filed seeking monetary damages.

The fund began accepting claims last August and closed the application process at the end of January, handled 4,342 claims, approving 124 death benefits and 266 injury payouts. The minimum payout for death benefits was $1 million.

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GM established the fund with $600 million, but through March 31 approximately $200 million has been paid. Ultimately, more than 90% of the claims made were denied by Feinberg and his team were denied. There is no appeal process as claimants gave up the right to any form of appeal. (more…)

Deaths Due to GM’s Faulty Ignitions Hits 100

Still 37 more death benefit claims to review.

by on May.11, 2015

GM said it has repaired more than 70% of the vehicles with its faulty ignition switch.

The number of deaths attributable to the faulty ignition switches in the 2.6 million vehicles recalled by General Motors has hit 100.

According to the latest update from Kenneth Feinberg, the administrator the $550 million victims fund established by the automaker, the number of death claims rose this week by three. There are 37 applications still to be considered after 227 have been denied. The automaker said it has repaired between 70 and 75% of the vehicles.

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In addition to the claims for death benefits, Feinberg’s staff approved 12 claims for people who suffered lost limbs, brain damage or pervasive burns in crashes, which are described as Category One. The claims for another 172 people who suffered less severe injuries that required hospitalization or outpatient treatment have also been approved, also known as Category Two injuries. (more…)

GM Ignition Switch Death Toll Rises to 97 Victims

Feinberg team continues processes claims.

by on May.04, 2015

Kenneth Feinberg, administrator fo GM's victims compensation fund, approved another round of benefits for victims.

General Motors initially claimed that 13 people were killed as a result of the faulty ignition switches that forced the recall of nearly 2.6 million vehicles last year: that number is now at least 97 people.

Kenneth Feinberg, the administrator of the $600 million victims compensation fund established by GM, released the latest results of his team’s efforts to process claims filed by victims and their families.

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The number of deaths has been slowly rising since the automaker established the fund and Feinberg and his team began sifting through the claims. In total, 474 claims were submitted for death benefits, and 97 were deemed eligible, 212 ineligible and 105 were “deficient,” which means it didn’t have enough documentation to be processed. (more…)

Court Upholds GM’s Bankruptcy Shield from Death Claims

But judge leaves potential loophole for plaintiffs.

by on Apr.16, 2015

The faulty GM ignition switch could inadvertently move to the Off position, causing a crash.

General Motors has been handed a major victory in its effort to shield itself from lawsuits linked to the defective ignition switches it used in older vehicles.

A federal judge has ruled the “new GM” is not liable for death and injury claims for crashes that occurred prior to the automaker’s emergence from bankruptcy in July 2009 – even in the event of misconduct by the “old GM.” But ruling from the federal bench in New York, Judge Robert Gerber did say owners could seek damages if they prove vehicles equipped with those switches have lost value since GM exited Chapter 11.

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The automaker hailed the news which, it said, “doesn’t establish any liability against GM.” It also noted that the burden will be on plaintiffs to prove any new claims for losses.

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GM Engaged in Cover Up of Ignition Switch Problems

Lawyers claim new documents show effort to hide problem.

by on Mar.17, 2015

29-year-old Brooke Melton was killed in a crash involving her 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt.

The law firms handling one of the high-profile lawsuits against General Motors due to its faulty ignition switch allege the automaker actively engaged in a cover up problems that led to the deaths of more than 65 people.

During a news conference on Monday, attorneys for the family of Brooke Melton, who died in 2010 as a result of an accident tied to the faulty switch, said documents produced by GM and the supplier of the switches, Delphi Automotive, under seal, show that high-level executives knew there was a problem with the switches, but declined to do anything about it.

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GM declined to comment on the press conference. (more…)

GM Gets Deadline Flurry of Compensation Claims

Fund receives 455 total filings for death benefits.

by on Feb.03, 2015

GM saw 1,100 new filings for benefits from its victims compensation fund just before the Jan. 31 deadline.

The Jan. 31 deadline for claims to General Motors’ victim compensation fund spurred a flurry of 1,100 new filings.

The rush brought the total number of filings to 4,180, including 455 death benefits: an increase from 338 the week prior. Claims for the most severe injuries rose to 278, up from 224 a week earlier, and filings for less severe injuries jumped to 3,447 from 2,508 a week earlier.

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The fund is administered by Kenneth Feinberg, an attorney whose firm oversaw similar funds related to the BP oil spill and other issues, who said in a radio interview yesterday that he expects the total number of filings to rise a bit more because any claims post marked for Jan. 31 will be accepted. (more…)

Deadline Extended for GM Ignition Recall Claims

Feinberg wants to ensure everyone eligible has been contacted.

by on Nov.17, 2014

Kenneth Feinberg, administrator fo GM's victims compensation fund, extended the deadline for filing claims to Jan. 31, 2015.

The deadline to file claims for benefits from General Motors victims fund was extended by one month to Jan. 31, 2015. The deadline was extended to ensure that anyone eligible to file a claim had been contacted and the time necessary to compile the information needed to file.

“I believe that the many efforts to reach all possible GM automobile owners, former owners and others who might have been adversely impacted by a defective ignition switch have been both comprehensive and effective,” said Kenneth Feinberg, the administrator of the fund, in a statement.

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“There will always be some individuals who do not receive formal notice and are generally unaware of available compensation. But such individuals appear to be very few in number.” (more…)