GM compensation fund finds at least 19 deaths related to faulty ignition switches [w/video]
Feinberg began accepting claims on August 1, and he has received reports of 125 deaths and 320 injuries since then, he told CNN Money. So far he has found 31 eligible for compensation with less than a dozen denied. The rest are still under review, and petitions are accepted through December 31.
"Already there are more deaths than GM said from day one," said Feinberg to CNN Money. "Of course there will be additional eligible deaths; how many is pure speculation, but there will be eligible death claims."
There's no cap to the amount possibly paid to affected families. Compensation for fatalities begins at $1 million and $300,000 for each spouse or dependent, plus an estimate of future earnings, according to CNN Money. Those injured are paid based on the severity of what happened. Feinberg's determinations are binding and cannot be appealed by GM, but those who accept agree not to sue GM in court.
Feinberg is clear that the automaker wasn't lying when it said that there are 13 deaths, it's just a matter of how the cases are evaluated. "GM had its engineers determine, with certainty, that there were 13 deaths caused by the ignition switch defect. The program we are administering is much easier to satisfy," Feinberg said to CNN Money. Even those not in a vehicle during an ignition-switch-related crash might be eligible for compensation under Feinberg's process.
Scroll down for an excerpt from the CNN Money interview where Feinberg explains more about how he is determining the settlements.
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