GM launches compensation program for crash victims - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

GM launches compensation program for crash victims

Posted: Updated:
DETROIT (AP) - General Motors plans to launch a program to compensate crash victims or families affected by an ignition switch problem that is linked to at least 13 deaths in crashes of older GM cars.

The company said it expects the program will start accepting claims Aug. 1, but didn't specify how much money will be involved. Guidelines and other details will be developed in the coming weeks by compensation expert Kenneth Feinberg, GM said.

GM has recalled 2.6 million older small cars to repair the ignition switches. A report issued Thursday said it took GM more than a decade to issue the recall partly because employees improperly viewed the switch defect as a "customer satisfaction" issue instead of a safety problem.

GM announced the hiring of Feinberg in April. He previously handled the Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund as well as funds for victims of the Boston Marathon bombing and the BP oil spill.

Feinberg told The Associated Press that the timeline means "I have my work cut out for me." During the next few weeks, he said he'll speak with plaintiff's lawyers, lawmakers, public interest groups and GM officials.

"I'll propose some ideas based on my experience that will form the basis for a ... compensation program," he said.

CEO Mary Barra said Thursday morning that the report by former U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas found a pattern of incompetency and neglect, but not a cover-up, at the heart of the Detroit automaker's long delay in dealing with the faulty switches.

Barra said the company would "do the right things for those who were harmed" and "everything in our power to make sure this never happens again."

The internal investigation and Barra's remarks don't deter Lance Cooper, a Georgia-based personal injury attorney who represents victims suing GM.

Cooper said in a statement that documents produced in one lawsuit show that GM opted not to fix the safety defects in cars "for cost reasons."

"This is why it is critical that the civil cases move forward so that the American public may learn the whole truth, not just the truth GM chooses to disclose," he said.

Feinberg said he's been focused on his task, not the investigation, so he can't comment on the latter's findings or how they might affect those suing GM.

"That's up to them - it's a voluntary program I'm establishing," he said. "The alternative is protracted litigation."

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • More NewsMore>>

  • Canfield car dealership burglarized by own employee

    Canfield car dealership burglarized by own employee

    Monday, May 22 2017 1:33 PM EDT2017-05-22 17:33:04 GMT

    A car dealer in Canfield thought all was well with his West Main Street business when he stopped by his office the evening of May 15, but when he returned in the morning, he found the glass shattered on his office door, reports say. The owner of NEEDATT Auto & Powersports told police he found his desk cabinet open and an envelope containing $2,300 in cash missing. 

    More >>

    A car dealer in Canfield thought all was well with his West Main Street business when he stopped by his office the evening of May 15, but when he returned in the morning, he found the glass shattered on his office door, reports say.The owner of NEEDATT Auto & Powersports told police he found his desk cabinet open and an envelope containing $2,300 in cash missing.

    More >>
  • FBI investigating cases of card skimming in valley

    FBI investigating cases of card skimming in valley

    Monday, May 22 2017 1:30 PM EDT2017-05-22 17:30:19 GMT

    A federal investigation is underway for two Texans accused of using card skimmers on automated teller machines in the valley. Suspects Daniel Forentin, 30, and Cristina Rolea, 24, of Fort Worth are accused of tapping about one dozen ATMs in Mahoning and Trumbull Counties, according to public information officer Mike Tobin of the U.S. Attorney's Office.

    More >>

    A federal investigation is underway for two Texans accused of using card skimmers on automated teller machines in the valley. Suspects Daniel Forentin, 30, and Cristina Rolea, 24, of Fort Worth are accused of tapping about one dozen ATMs in Mahoning and Trumbull Counties, according to public information officer Mike Tobin of the U.S. Attorney's Office.

    More >>
  • Chaney student arrested for threatening to shoot up school

    Chaney student arrested for threatening to shoot up school

    Monday, May 22 2017 1:02 PM EDT2017-05-22 17:02:37 GMT

    A Chaney High School eighth grade student is charged with inducing panic after posting threats before school hours Monday morning. The 14 year-old admitted to his mother via Snapchat that he posted on social media his plan to shoot up the school and then kill himself, according to a police report.  Another student's parent alerted school officials about the social media post, prompting a school-wide lock down, the report says.  

    More >>

    A Chaney High School eighth grade student is charged with inducing panic after posting threats before school hours Monday morning. The 14 year-old admitted to his mother via Snapchat that he posted on social media his plan to shoot up the school and then kill himself, according to a police report.  Another student's parent alerted school officials about the social media post, prompting a school-wide lock down, the report says.  

    More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms