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GM Compensation Fund Gets Claims in 63 Death Cases

Sixty-three death claims have been filed so far with the lawyer handling payments for those involved in wrecks caused by faulty General Motors ignition switches. A spokeswoman for compensation expert Kenneth Feinberg says he received 125 claims by Friday afternoon. Sixty-two others seek payments for injuries. Feinberg started taking claims Aug. 1. Spokeswoman Camille Biros says Feinberg still has to determine if the claims are eligible for payments. "The number of claims filed does not equate in any way to the number that will ultimately be deemed eligible," she said in an e-mail message. "With all of these compensation programs, you will receive many claims that cannot even get beyond the first test of eligibility." Feinberg, who handled compensation for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the BP Gulf oil spill, is accepting claims through Dec. 31. GM has recalled 2.6 million small cars to replace the switches. The company has admitted knowing about the problem for more than a decade, yet it failed to recall the cars until this year. GM has traced 13 deaths to the defective switches, but some members of Congress investigating the problems peg the death toll at nearly 100 people.

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-The Associated Press