GM Feinberg “Compensation” Plan – How Long Do Crash Victims Have To Just Apply?
Thanks to the “generosity” of the GM Feinberg “Compensation” current plan, crash victims have been “given” an extension of 1 month until the end of January 2015 to just apply to be deemed eligible. (Is there a connection between that date and the control of the Senate?)
Senator Richard Blumenthal has rightly stated: ““This incident illustrates the need to reconsider and substantially modify – if not eliminate – these arbitrary compensation fund deadlines. I commend and appreciate the spirit that is reflected in extending the deadline, but the practical effect is inadequate. Victims must have a meaningful choice between accepting compensation through the fund and pursuing their claims in court, and that choice can’t be made until the outcomes of the bankruptcy proceeding and the Department of Justice investigation are known. Right now, injured parties do not know enough about their legal rights or facts to make an intelligent or informed decisions. They will not know the full extent of their rights until the bankruptcy court decides whether to lift the liability shield that GM now unjustifiably hides behind.
“GM should either commit to waiving its bankruptcy shield in all pending legal actions, or permit all victims who qualify for the fund to postpone their acceptance of their compensation until the completion of the Department of Justice investigation into GM’s possible criminal actions.
“GM’s failure to notice the Averill family remains a shocking contradiction of whatever public trust the company was taking steps to rebuild. General Motors still must immediately provide proof that they have notified each of the families they know to have been harmed by their defect and direct Mr. Feinberg to make future extensions to the fund deadline if evidence is presented that there are other families, like the Averills, from whom information is being withheld.”” See
Kenneth R. Feinberg, who administers the compensation fund, has decided to extend the deadline to Jan. 31 to give more time to families who might not be aware of the program.
The extension comes a week after The New York Times revealed the identity of Jean P. Averill, who was killed in a 2003 crash of a Saturn Ion at the age of 81. Hers was the earliest fatality G.M. connected with the ignition defect. Until informed by The Times, the family had not known of the company’s compensation program or that it was eligible to receive a minimum of $1 million from the fund. At that time, the family said it had never been contacted by the automaker.” See
And for a peek into how the GM Feinberg program currently operates:
“WASHINGTON — If this Monday is like almost every other one this fall, the death toll from General Motors’ defective ignition switch will rise.” See
Crash victims will continue to be identified. As will the efforts by GM to limit their payouts to victims – and the need to drastically improve safety for their customers and the public.
Too slowly, but the public is at least now learning what has been happening and who is responsible for all this preventable suffering.