20 Apr GM Defective Ignition Switch Trial Now Underway
In the tragic saga that has developed around GM’s faulty ignition switches, some injured parties are still waiting to have their day in court.
A couple of these plaintiffs, whose case was initially withdrawn back in January 2014, are now getting their chance to square off with GM in court, as the trial for their second filing against the automaker has recently just gotten underway.
A Closer Look at the Case & Allegations
According to court documents associated with the case:
- The new trial stems from a 2014 auto accident that allegedly resulted in injuries to a woman and man who were driving a 2007 Saturn on an icy New Orleans bridge.
- The woman lost control of the vehicle on the slippery roadway; when she attempted to slam on the brakes, the vehicle reportedly wouldn’t stop.
- The plaintiffs alleged that the vehicle’s failure to stop was directly related to ignition switch defects.
- GM, however, claims that the crash was not caused by its ignition switches. To support this contention, GM presented a police officer as one of its key witnesses. The officer, who patrols the section of New Orleans roadway where the crash occurred, has testified (via a deposition) that the main cause of traffic accidents occurring along that stretch of pavement is excessive speed by cars on icy roads.
- GM has also countered the plaintiffs’ claims, alleging that the woman and man did not suffer any permanent injuries as a result of the accident.
It remains to be seen whether GM will be held accountable for this accident and the plaintiffs’ resulting injuries.
Background on the Ignition Switch Defect
The problem with the ignition switch in question is that it can slip out of the “on” position, causing vehicles to stall, disabling the power steering, and deactivating the air bags. While this can significantly increase motorists’ crash risks, it also elevates the severity of the resulting crashes due to the lack of airbag protection (increasing the chances that catastrophic – if not fatal – injuries will be sustained by the involved parties).
Here’s a look at the ignition switch fiasco via the recall and litigation/settlement numbers:
- About 30 million GM vehicles have been recalled to date due to having defective ignition switches.
- To date, GM has reportedly spent at least $575 million to resolve at least 1,400 death- and injury-related claims associated with its faulty ignition switches.
- There are reportedly, however, still about 1,700 injury and wrongful death cases still pending against GM.
- Separately, GM has also made payments of $600 million to settle 399 claims via a specially devised settlement fund. These settled claims reportedly cover 275 injuries and 124 deaths caused by the defective ignition switches.
- Nearly 4,350 claims have been rejected by GM for unknown reasons.
Contact a Phoenix Personal Injury Lawyer at the Law Office of Richard Langerman
If you or a loved one has been hurt by faulty vehicle equipment – or by any defective consumer product, a Phoenix personal injury lawyer at the Law Office of Richard Langerman is here for you, ready to fight for your rights to compensation and justice.
To set up a free, no obligations initial consult with one of our lawyers, call us today at (602) 240-5525 or send us an email using the contact form at the bottom of this page.