As independent administrator Kenneth Feinberg’s firm continues to process more than 4,000 claims over defective GM ignition switches, the mortality rate keeps rising. This week the death role includes 56 people who are deemed eligible to file a claim.
However, 1,388 more cases are under review, and 1,198 were submitted without documentation to back the claim, according Feinberg’s latest update on his GM ignition switch website.
Feinberg has 478 claims with deaths, 288 amputations, burns or other severe injuries and 3,456 that required hospitalization within 48 hours of the accident where a GM ignition switch was involved..
Last year, GM reserved $400 million for the payment of ignition switch damages, but now says that number could grow to $600 million.
GM is also being sued in two class action complaints alleging that more than 60 recalls affecting 27 million 1997-2014 vehicles sold in the U.S. have caused consumers to lose value in their cars and light trucks. The notorious ignition switches are only part of the charges. Hagens Berman and co-lead counsel Lieff Cabraser filed the cases in New York last October. The law firms are looking to collect hefty, critics say obscene, legal fees if they conclude in their favor.
The complaints seek money for violations of state consumer protection laws, breach of implied warranties, fraud by concealment, unjust enrichment and violation of the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. A similar attempt to sue Ford over the loss of value on Explorer models because of defective Firestone ATX tires failed.