Feinberg, the architect of high-profile compensation funds like the Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund, is considering among other things whether GM should fund a trust for accident victims, but he could also address - and reach conclusions - on other legal matters.
GM has come under heavy criticism for not catching sooner the defective ignition switch, which had been studied by engineers in the company as early as 2001 but was not recalled until the initial action in February this year. The defective switch has been linked to 13 deaths.
Assuming the case does not settle quickly, Gerber indicated on Friday that he may be inclined to address questions of due process violations before those relating to potential fraud on the bankruptcy court, which would require plaintiffs to probe GM's records.
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"I want to accomplish as much as we can before we get bogged down in discovery," Gerber said.
Ed Weisfelner, representing some of the plaintiffs, was hesitant to embrace settlement talks right away, citing disruption to Feinberg's study as well as the ongoing investigations into the switch defect by regulators and federal officials. "While we would rather mediate than litigate, I'm not sure the environment is such today that we're being presented with that choice," Weisfelner said.