(Changes source, adds details)
Aug 8 The lawyer overseeing a General Motors Co
fund set up to compensate victims of accidents caused by
faulty ignition switches in its cars said he received claims for
cases involving 63 deaths.
Kenneth Feinberg, who is overseeing the fund, also told
Reuters that since the fund was set up a week ago 65 others had
filed physical injury claims as of Friday afternoon. However, he
added that the death claims had not yet been confirmed as being
eligible for compensation.
Feinberg, who started taking claims from Aug. 1 and will
continue until Dec. 31, will determine the number of claims
eligible for payments and final payouts.
GM earlier this year recalled 2.6 million cars for the
faulty ignition switches, which can cause engine stalls and stop
power steering and power brakes from operating and air bags from
deploying. It has also admitted not fixing the problem for a
The number of death claims represents nearly five times the
13 deaths that GM has attributed to the defective switches.
The Detroit-based automaker has set aside $400 million to
cover victims' claims, but the amount could grow because the
fund is not capped.
Lawyers for various plaintiffs have said several dozen
deaths may ultimately be attributed to the switches.
The payouts from the compensation fund for eligible claims
are expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2015,
Feinberg said in June, adding that the families for those who
died would likely be awarded at least $1 million.
Feinberg has previously handled a compensation fund for
victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and a BP Plc fund
for victims of the April 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
(Reporting by Avik Das in Bangalore and Julia Edwards in
Washington; Editing by Bernard Orr and Ken Wills)