The number of deaths attributable to General Motors’ faulty ignition switch in a decade’s worth of small cars rose to 49, which is four more than the previous week.
In addition, to the jump in the death toll, which GM initially listed as 13, the number of injuries related to the switches increased by five to 72 total. Of those, seven are for very serious injuries and 65 are for minor injuries.
The number of death claims rose to 311, which is up eight. Feinberg has declared 49 ineligible and 88 deficient. An additional 84 are still under review while 41 were submitted with no documentation.
The fund was established by GM to compensate victims and their families involved in incidents related to the cars with the switches. The automaker recalled nearly 2.6 million vehicles to resolve the problem.
The deadline to file a claim is Jan. 31. It was extended by 30 days on the recommendation of Feinberg and his staff. GM sent out 850,000 letters to affected families of the deadline and the procedures.
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The fund has made 65 compensation offers and 41 have been accepted, according to the Detroit News. None have been rejected. If an offer is accepted, the recipient agrees to not sue GM.
Separately, last week the automaker scored a major court victory as a New York federal judge ruled that plaintiffs suing the automaker for compensation due to faulty ignition switch couldn’t access critical documents from the law firm handling GM’s internal investigation.
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Prior to the ruling, GM denied plaintiffs lawyers access to the notes taken by Jenner & Block LLP during the automaker’s internal investigation into its ignition switch defect.
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Nonetheless, GM faces years of litigation linked to recall, including a federal criminal investigation, which may be able to get around Furman’s ruling. In addition, several state governments, led by their attorneys general, are considering legal action against GM.