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Three Wisconsin families say GM ignition switch problem caused fatal crash

The General Motors logo is seen outside its headquarters at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan August 25, 2009. REUTERS/Jeff Kowals
The General Motors logo is seen outside its headquarters at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan August 25, 2009. REUTERS/Jeff Kowals

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)  Families of three Wisconsin victims in a 2006 traffic crash linked to General Motors' faulty ignition switches have yet to decide whether to take a company settlement. Ken Rimer says the families will meet with their lawyer tomorrow after G-M announced a compensation fund yesterday.

18-year-old Natasha Weigel and 15-year-old Amy Rademacher were killed when their car stalled, veered off a road, and slammed into trees in rural Saint Croix County in far western Wisconsin. The driver, 17-year-old Megan Phillips, suffered brain damage. G-M has admitted that one of the girls died directly from the ignition problem, because an air bag in front of her had not deployed.

Yesterday G-M said all passengers in such crashes would be eligible for compensation, after refusing to compensate back seat riders previously.

The three Wisconsin families have a lawsuit pending. Rimer says he'll need to know more before deciding whether to drop the suit and accept G-M's compensation. Amounts have not been disclosed, but company settlement administrator Kenneth Feinberg said families would know the offers before having to decide whether to take them.

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