Minnesota family waits while GM determines compensation for fatal accident

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Eight years ago, Natasha Weigel died in a car crash. The 18-year-old was a passenger in a Chevy Cobalt when the driver lost control; the car left the road and struck a telephone junction box and two trees in St. Croix County, Wisconsin.

A 15-year-old passenger also died, and the teenage driver suffered brain damage.

Authorities determined the ignition switch malfunctioned and suddenly turned from the “run” to “accessory” position, causing the steering, braking and airbag systems to lose power.

Eight years later, Weigel's family is still just waiting, as ABC 6 reports; waiting to find out if the negligence claim they filed against General Motors is accepted, and if they can start to move on.

"It just keeps dragging out," Doug Weigel of Albert Lea told the station. “It makes it worse the longer you sit not knowing."

The Weigels are one of the hundreds of families who filed claims relating to injuries or deaths stemming from the faulty ignition switches in GM vehicles. The company is accused of negligence for knowing about the ignition switch problem but not addressing it for a decade.

The attorney tasked with overseeing the compensation fund, Ken Feinberg, said Monday 19 deaths can be linked to the ignition issue – six more than the 13 deaths the automaker previously attributed to the problem, NBC News reports.

The faulty ignition switch was installed on 2.6 million GM cars, NBC News says. The company has received 445 claims related to the product, and 125 of those resulted in death. NBC News says a total of 31 claims (including the 19 fatalities) have been deemed eligible for some compensation.

That number could grow, however.

The New York Times reports there are still more than 100 deaths claims to review, and more could very well be filed by Dec. 31, the deadline to do so. General Motors' fund to compensate victims and surviving family is currently at $400 million, the paper reports.

CNN reports families of those who died can collect a base of $1 million, plus an addition based on potential future earning potential, and $300,000 for each surviving spouse and dependent.

The New York Times says the identities of the victims in the 19 eligible deaths claims have not been publicly identified.

So Doug Weigel continues to wait.

He told ABC 6 he expects to find out the status of his family's claim within 60 days.

But, as he told the station, he just wants to "get it done with so we can move on with life, that's the biggest thing."

Next Up

Flickr - state capitol minneosta - Ken Lund

Criminal charges possible for woman who drove on State Capitol grounds

She drove on the sidewalk and lawn, and at one point waved a large "Trump 2020" flag out the window.

training camp

10 things fans should know before going to Vikings training camp

Masks are not required, but strongly encouraged for the unvaccinated.

4852014184_b86eb6b123_k

Cases of COVID-19 linked to Provincetown outbreak found in Minnesota

There have been more than 550 cases linked to the Massachusetts tourist destination since the 4th of July weekend.

Aaron Rodgers

Reports: Aaron Rodgers set for at least one more year with the Packers

Both sides showing signs of optimism just before training camp begins.

Twitter - KARE 11 jeopardy screengrab

KARE 11 crew teases upcoming 'Jeopardy!' cameo

Some familiar local faces will be providing contestants with "Minneapolis News" clues.

Screen Shot 2021-07-26 at 1.41.24 PM

Second victim of deadly crash in Orono is identified

The crash also was fatal for the son of Gophers hockey coach Bob Motzko.

Witzmann and Coleman

Ex-Viking and ex-Gopher could be contestants for Edina's 'Bachelorette'

Michelle Young, a teacher from Edina, is the show's Season 18 star.

Mayo clinic

Mayo Clinic will require COVID-19 vaccines for all its staff

Those who decline will be required to wear masks and socially distance while on campus.

John Thompson

Rep. John Thompson once again rejects calls to resign

He spoke briefly Monday morning at a press conference organized by his supporters.

Related