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GM lawyer to give details Monday on fund for victims of faulty switch

By Jessica Dye and Ben Klayman

(Reuters) - A lawyer for General Motors Co will announce on Monday the eligibility criteria for a program to compensate victims of a faulty ignition switch that prompted the recall of 2.6 million vehicles.

Among the details will be the scope and rules of the program and the timeline for submitting claims, according to a statement on Thursday by a spokeswoman for the lawyer, Kenneth Feinberg.

She said he will make the announcement during a speech at the National Press Club in Washington on Monday morning.

Feinberg, the architect of compensation funds for victims of high-profile catastrophes including the September 11 attacks, was hired by GM to assess the company’s options for paying individuals who were injured or whose family members were killed in accidents connected to the switch problem.

GM CEO Mary Barra said during a June 18 congressional hearing that Feinberg would have “full authority” to decide who would be eligible for the program and what each claim would be paid. She said the program is intended to compensate "every single person who suffered a physical injury or lost a loved one" as a result of the switch.

She said the program would begin accepting claims by Aug. 1. GM has so far acknowledged 13 deaths connected with the switch, although U.S. Representative Diana DeGette of Colorado suggested during the June 18 hearing that there may be as many as 100 fatalities.

Plaintiffs’ lawyers have suggested there may be many more claims for injuries from crashes caused by the switch.

(Reporting by Jessica Dye in New York and Ben Klayman in Detroit; editing by Ted Botha and Matthew Lewis)

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