Compensation Plan for GM Victims

General Motors has set up a settlement plan for those who have been injured or killed because of the defective ignition switch in their GM vehicles even as it recalls a further 7.6 million vehicles for the same defect. Those who make a successful claim waive the right to sue the automaker in civil court. Claims can be made from August 1 to December 31, 2014 through the dedicated website or by calling a toll-free number.
The provisions of the plan are as follows:

  • All vehicle occupants in an accident prior to December 31, 2014 that sustained injury or died not due to any driver negligence but by failure of the ignition switch of specific car models can make a claim
  • Claimants submitted all relevant documentation showing that the ignition switch was the proximate cause of the crash
  • Compensation will be
    • Minimum of 1 million for the family of those who died, plus $300,000 each for the spouse and any dependent for lost lifetime earnings
    • Variable for catastrophic injuries covering life-care and lost wages
    • Maximum of $500,000 for those with less serious injuries to cover hospital expenses
    • Maximum of $20,000 for those availing of outpatient services
  • Those who have already settled with GM prior to the recalls are also allowed to make a further claim

GM is currently in multidistrict litigation involving 85 cases claiming economic losses because their vehicles lost value due to the recalls (MDL 2543, In Re General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation). The company expects some victims will not take advantage of the settlement program in order to sue the company for punitive damages in civil court.