On Monday, June 30, 2014, General Motors finally announced its plan to pay the families of victims killed by defective ignition switch crashes.
Attorney Ken Feinberg announced the victim compensation plan at the National Press Club, just before General Motors announced that it was going to recall yet ANOTHER batch of vehicles from the roads. This time, GM is yanking 8.4 million vehicles, 7.6 million of which will be recalled because of the defective ignition switches.
All told, that brings the number of cars recalled by General Motors this year to 25 million — for those of you keeping score, that shatters the record of number of recalls in one year by 4 million. (The previous record holder was Ford from way back in 1981.)
Per Feinberg, the compensation program will not cap the total money available for victims. He said: “[GM will pay] whatever it costs to pay all eligible claims under the protocol… There is no ceiling on the aggregate dollars.”
Will everyone participate in the program? Perhaps not.
Some victims (and their families) may go after General Motors for punitive damages and sue on their own.
The company insists that only 13 people (so far) have been killed because of the defect. But non-company estimates are much higher. Representative Diana DeGette of Colorado, who has been investigating the automaker, believes that as many 100 deaths may be linked to the defective ignition switch.
Meanwhile, the company’s legal worries continue – prosecutors in New York and California, federal prosecutors, and various State Attorney Generals are all pursuing legal action against GM. The company has been hit hard, financially, by the ongoing fiasco, racking up a $1.2 billion debt for the second quarter.
The grand fate of GM notwithstanding, you may have very specific questions or concerns about your case. Please contact our experienced Washington DC car accident and defective product attorneys here at Regan, Zambri & Long at (202) 463-3030 to get a thorough and free consultation about what compensation options you may have and what you can do next.