General Motors officials have said they expect the death toll related to the ignition switch defect to rise from 13 people, and now it has. The group overseeing the compensation fund for victims said today they have approved 19 death claims.
The Detroit News reports the compensation fund overseen by lawyer Kenneth Feinberg has received 445 claims, including 125 for deaths, related to ignition switches that turn off inadvertently and disable airbags and power steering.
So far, that fund has approved 31 claims, including 19 deaths, the newspaper reported. The deputy administrator of the fund said they also expect the death toll to rise as more claims are approved.
The takeaway from this is that quite a few people may have died in ignition switch-related crashes than anyone initially thought, and those are just the claims that GM says meets their criteria for compensation.
The fund will pay at least $1 million for each death claim, along with $300,000 payments to surviving spouses and children, and will calculate lost economic value as well.