Bloomberg News report
NEW YORK (Nov. 13, 2014) — The lawyer handling General Motors Co.'s compensation for victims of accidents tied to its faulty ignition switches said he'll consider an auto safety advocate's suggestion that he comb regulators' files for relevant accidents.
Kenneth Feinberg said he received the request Nov. 12 from Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety, a Washington-based advocacy group. Mr. Ditlow said Mr. Feinberg should be processing claims faster and look at regulators' files for possible switch victims.
“I have read Mr. Ditlow's letter and have taken it under advisement,” Mr. Feinberg said Nov. 12 by email. “I want to make sure that the notice program and our outreach efforts reach the right people. We are considering Clarence's suggestions.”
Mr. Feinberg took issue with Mr. Ditlow's statement that he is handling claims too slowly, saying he had processed more than 800 requests for payment.
“We have processed every single claim that has been submitted to us with documentation,” he wrote. “All remaining claims — in the hundreds — have absolutely no documentation whatsoever.”
Confirmed deaths tied to defective ignition switches have reached 30 and may rise as new claims are filed before the December deadline set by the auto maker, he has said.
Mr. Feinberg, an attorney at Feinberg Rozen L.L.P. in Washington, D.C., has said about 150 unverified fatality claims are under review. Requests for payments might rise before the year-end deadline, he said.
GM is reserving as much as $600 million to pay accident claims. Some lawyers have said that's not enough.