GM To Pay At Least $1 Million For Each Ignition Switch Death

More details emerged this morning on General Motors' compensation plan for those whose family members died in crashes tied to the ignition switch defect: the automaker plans to pay $1 million and up for each death.


The New York Times reports that the plan set to be unveiled by compensation expert Kenneth R. Feinberg entitles the families of people who died to at least $1 million, "and added to that will be a calculation of lifetime earnings lost as well as $300,000 for a spouse and for each dependent."

In a hypothetical example given by Mr. Feinberg in an interview, the family of a 25-year-old married woman with two children who was earning $46,400 a year at the time of her accident would receive $4 million.

The plan will also likely account for deaths beyond the 13 people who died in ignition-related crashes. GM themselves have said the death toll from the faulty switch could rise, and other groups and independent analyses by journalists have put the number higher than 13.

GM will not invoke their bankruptcy protections here, and those who file a claim will not forfeit their right to sue as well.


In a statement, GM CEO Mary Barra said the company is "taking responsibility for what has happened by treating them with compassion, decency and fairness."

The details of the plan are forthcoming. Expect more to come.

Photo credit AP

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