GM Ignition Compensation
Claims Resolution Facility


A compensation program to pay automobile accident victims killed or physically injured as a result of defective GM ignition switches in certain GM automobiles was announced today by Kenneth R. Feinberg, Administrator of the GM Ignition Compensation Claims Resolution Facility (“the Program”). At a Press Conference held at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, Mr. Feinberg explained the most important features of the Compensation Program:

  • The Program is purely voluntary; no individual is required to participate in the Program. Only if the individual is satisfied with the compensation provided, does he/she agree to waive their rights to litigate against GM.
  • Mr. Feinberg retains complete and sole discretion over all compensation awards to eligible victims, including eligibility to participate in the Program and the amounts awarded. By agreement, GM cannot reject the Administrator’s final determinations as to eligibility and amount of compensation.
  • The Program has no aggregate cap; GM has agreed to pay whatever the Administrator deems appropriate in each and every individual case.
  • Individuals who previously settled their claims with GM before knowing of the ignition switch defect will be permitted to enter the Program and may receive additional compensation.
  • Contributory negligence attributed to the driver of the vehicle e.g. intoxication, speeding, etc. is irrelevant; the new Program will not examine or evaluate any such contributory negligence.
  • Claimants filing a claim with the Administrator will be required to prove that the ignition switch defect in an “eligible vehicle,” as defined in the Program, was the “proximate cause” of the death or physical injury in the accident.
  • The Program will recognize three different categories of eligible claims: Individual Death Claims, Individual Claims involving the most serious physical injuries (e.g. quadriplegic and paraplegic injuries, permanent brain damage, etc.) and less serious physical injuries involving hospitalization or, in limited circumstances, immediate outpatient medical treatment.
  • Eligible claims will be paid within 90-180 days from the time that a submitted claim is deemed “substantially complete” by the Administrator.
  • The Program will begin receiving claims on August 1, 2014 and all claims submitted to the Administrator must be postmarked no later than December 31, 2014.

During the press conference Mr. Feinberg stated: “This Program is designed to provide swift compensation to eligible victims of ignition switch defects in certain GM vehicles. We will work closely with all individual claimants and their lawyers in evaluating individual claims and reaching a determination as to eligibility and value as soon as possible.”

Mr. Feinberg added: “We have benefitted greatly in the design of this Program from the input and constructive advice received from lawyers representing claimants, non-profit public interest groups and GM itself. We are grateful for the cooperation we received. We have also relied upon certain previous compensation programs, such as the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund and One Fund Boston, in developing this Compensation Program.”

A copy of the Protocol is available on this website.

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