General Motors administrator has counted a further 13 deaths and 30 injuries in relation to the defective I ignition switches; even the victim-settlement fund has been closed five weeks before for new applicants. The auto giant of America has hidden these defects for 13 years and has admitted it now.
Estimated payout of the settlement fund has so far amounted between $400 million and $600 million and the count of victims has now totaled to 64 deaths and 108 injuries out of the 4343 applications received by the company since August. Further applications numbering 1571 are being reviewed for consideration currently that has 156 deaths and 1415 injury cases. Another batch of 781 claim applications is pending for want of documentation, and they are likely to be rejected for lack of proof.
General Motors is still facing stacks of law suits related to ignition-switch defect, which claim several times more than what was assured on the payout. Robert Gerber, the U.S. Bankruptcy judge, is unsure whether the pending individual and class action cases numbering 178 should proceed against the company. The 2009 bankruptcy case by GM was approved by Gerber, which prevents the company from paying for liabilities in full and would only offer pennies to dollars to clients whose cases were ruled in favor.
In a hearing held last month Gerber pointed out that some of the complainants were alleging financial harm than physical and questioned, whether they should be allowed to file a suit against the company. The bankrupt judge could take more months to come to a decision. Similarly, the New York judge is yet to arrive at a decision on when these cases will be tried out in a single court and the total alleged damages amount to $10 billion. Canada has 17 class-action lawsuits and investigations are pending by 48 state attorneys. There is a criminal investigation against GM being conducted by the Department of Justice.