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General Motors Faulty Ignition Switch Linked to Nearly Decade-Old Car Crash Fatality

January 21, 2015  ·  By HM&M

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In 2007, a Texas woman was charged with negligent homicide for losing control of her vehicle and crashing into a tree, which resulted in the death of her boyfriend. What was not revealed at the time of the case and her subsequent guilty plea was a long overdue admission by General Motors (GM), which finally came in November 2014, publicly linking the death of her boyfriend to an ignition switch defect in millions of its vehicles.

According to an article published by the The New York Times, GM had quietly conducted an internal review of the crash and ruled its vehicle to blame without alerting the woman or law enforcement. The woman’s Saturn Ion was one of the listed cars equipped with the defective part.

GM’s faulty ignition was known to cause loss of power brakes, power steering, and airbags. An estimated 35 deaths linked to this defect went unreported by GM for than a decade.

The review was not disclosed by GM when investigated by federal safety regulators. The auto manufacturer lied in a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stating it had not assessed the cause of the crash when the truth was a GM engineer had already discovered that power to the vehicle had most likely been lost.

Since the November ruling, GM has received an additional 141 claims for ignition switch defects in the time span of one week, according to Reuters. With regards to its faulty product, GM has now received in total:

  • 303 claims for deaths;
  • 202 claims for catastrophic injuries; and
  • 2,205 claims for injuries requiring hospitalization.

The number of cases eligible for compensation through GM’s compensation program are rising with at least 738 claims currently under review. When a company has manufactured a defective product, it must be held liable for the harm it causes and not ignore or cover up the issues as GM had previously done.

Our attorneys have experience litigating against large manufacturing companies and understand the type of investigation necessary to pursue claims successfully. Our record reflects multi-million dollar settlements for our clients due to our legal knowledge and resources. It is important for us to help clients seek the justice they deserve.

If you or a loved one have been injured due to a defective automobile product in Illinois or across the country, contact an experienced Chicago product liability attorney today who will fight for you.

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