Last Summer GM (General Motors Co.) stated that any victims of the GM Ignition-Switch Defect would be compensated fully for injuries and/or wrongful death sustained as a result. Since GM is in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy and the bankruptcy court has not ruled whether or not GM is or is not barred from lawsuits under the terms of said bankruptcy, many claimants are filing claims in the massive GM fund lest they have no other legal remedy.
If the bankruptcy court were to lift the liability shield and allow lawsuits against GM, then GM could be held liable for punitive damages. It has been speculated that if someone were to file an action against GM in one of these cases, then GM might very well have a serious legal problem if GM can be held liable for punitive damages.
The ignition-switch defect is one that would disable the air bags and the power steering and, as a result, people in these vehicles died, were in accidents that were catastrophic in nature, and/or were injured severely. GM recalled over two (2) million vehicles. Since the fund was created, almost four and a half (4.5) million people have been notified yet only 2105 people, as of November 14, 2014, have filed claims into the fund.
Of those 2105 claims filed, only 72 have been deemed eligible for compensation in the fund. The other claims are either ineligible, deficient, under review, or, as with the vast majority of the claims (1106 total as of November 14, 2014, over half of the 2105 claims that have been filed) are lacking proper documentation.