Wrongful Death Toll from GM Vehicle Recall Rises to 19

Investigation Reveals 19 Wrongful Deaths Tied to GM Cars Under Vehicle Recall

wrongful deathIt began in February 2014 – General Motors issued a small vehicle recall for older model cars, mostly in the 2004-2005 model year range, because of problems with the ignition switch.

Over the next several months, federal regulators and consumers began to speak up about the scope of the vehicle recall problem. General Motors admitted that it knew of 13 wrongful deaths over 10 years that it failed to issue a vehicle recall for the ignition switches, in violation of its 2009 bankruptcy terms. Consumers filed personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. GM recalled over 20 million cars. GM CEO Mary Barra testified before Congress.

In August, General Motors announced that the company had set up a settlement fund with the help of attorney Kenneth Feinberg. As soon as the compensation fund was up and running, Feinberg and his team received 135 personal injury claims, 65 of which were wrongful death claims.

Now, Feinberg’s team announced that, in the first 6 weeks that the compensation fund has been going, legal investigators have found that 19 wrongful deaths, so far, can be attributed to the ignition switch problem.

“Already there are more deaths than GM said from day one,” Feinberg said in an interview. “Of course there will be additional eligible deaths; how many is pure speculation, but there will be eligible death claims.”

There are more than 100 death claims still under review, and with a filing deadline of December 2014, GM will most likely face many more wrongful death claims.

“We have previously said that Ken Feinberg and his team will independently determine the final number of eligible individuals, so we accept their determinations for the compensation program,” the company said. “What is most important is that we are doing the right thing for those who lost loved ones and for those who suffered physical injury.”

As of September, 445 personal injury claims have been submitted to the GM ignition switch injury fund, 125 of which involve wrongful death claims. It is unclear if the original 13 wrongful deaths acknowledged by GM are part of the 19 claims in the fund.

GM faces not just civil lawsuits outside of the personal injury compensation fund – which claim that the fund uses unfair metrics to calculate each claim’s validity – but also numerous criminal investigations for negligence and fraud. A judge in civil court is currently deciding whether the terms of GM’s 2009 bankruptcy filing will protect the company from the personal injury claims or not. GM claims that prior to their bankruptcy, the company was “old GM,” which made numerous mistakes and cut corners on production. The company states that “new GM” should not be held responsible for “old GM’s” mistakes.

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Defective Products and Vehicle Recall Cases

If you have experienced a problem with a defective product in your automobile, especially if a defective part has led to an auto accident or personal injury, and a proper vehicle recall notice has not been issued, you may be entitled to compensation. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help. We can help you with complicated auto insurance claims, and make sure you receive the compensation you deserve to help you with lost income and medical bills. Our attorneys are licensed to practice in South Carolina, Georgia, and New York. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case. Contact us today at (803) 252-4800.

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