Six weeks after it began accepting applications for claims related to accidents involving faulty General Motors vehicles, the victim compensation fund has made this determination: There are 19 eligible claims for a person who died in a defective GM vehicle—and that number is likely to go higher.
"There will be more than 19," said attorney Ken Feinberg, who is overseeing the fund. "How many more is speculative."
Feinberg and his staff released the first set of numbers outlining how many claims have been filed on behalf of victims injured or killed in 2.6 million recalled GM vehicles. So far, the fund has received 445 claim applications, with 31 of them deemed eligible for payment. Feinberg said there are 414 more that have not been rejected.
"We've received these claims. Some of them are woefully inadequate, no documentation, no signatures, no correct addresses. We are not rejecting the claims," Feinberg said. "The remainder are currently being processed and we are working with the claimant to firm up those claims."
For months, as the faulty ignition switch recall saga continued to grow, General Motors maintained only 13 fatalities were related to the faulty cars. It was a claim safety advocates and lawyers routinely questioned as being far too low.