If you’ve never heard of Kenneth Feinberg, you probably will. Feinberg is an attorney who specializes in handing out money to those injured in horrible accidents or crashes. He was there to administer the World Trade Center funds to victims’ families, and he was there to deal with claims made after BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Feinberg was also the person responsible for meting out the fund GM established for victims of its faulty ignition switch.
When organizations hurt hundreds or even thousands of people, they sometimes establish a set amount of money, known as a “fund,” to pay what they consider to be valid claims. Of course, the money isn’t free. In addition to suffering horrible injuries or losing those close to them, injured people or their families must sign a release. In the release, they agree not to bring lawsuits or further claims even though they may have great cases from a legal standpoint.
GM established a fund to pay victims and families of victims hurt or killed due to its faulty ignition switches. Feinberg paid families of 124 victims who were killed a minimum of $1 million each. He also paid money to 18 people who were badly injured, having “suffered serious injuries such as paralysis, amputation, brain injury or significant burns,” as well as many people who had to receive medical treatment for other types of injuries.
However, over 90 percent of people who filed claims with Feinberg received nothing. Not a dime. That’s because he disapproved their claims.
When Feinberg administered the GM fund, victims and their families could not bring a lawsuit because GM had bankruptcy protection for crashes that happened before “Old GM” became “New GM” in August 2009. That is no longer the case!
Due to a groundbreaking ruling by a federal appellate court, many people who were hurt by GM’s defective ignition switch can now pursue a lawsuit. The court made this important ruling because GM covered up the problems with the switch as it was going through its bankruptcy. As a result, the court is breaking from the general rule that keeps people from suing for events that happened before the company emerged from bankruptcy.
If you or a loved one was hurt in a crash due to a defective GM switch, contact the California accident lawyers at Alexander Law Group, LLP for a free, no obligation consultation. Call 888.777.1776 to speak with an attorney right now. Delays can harm your case.