Healy Scanlon Law Firm

GM's recall spurs wrongful death lawsuit


The recent recall announced by GM for some of its cars has roused the interests of drivers in Chicago, Illinois concerned about consumer safety. The recall, which had been announced only in February, stemmed from faulty ignition switches in certain cars. This was an issue that GM was purportedly aware of as far back as 2004. Recently, after more than seven years, the family of the victim who allegedly died because of that defect filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the automaker.

In 2006, an 18-year-old woman and two of her friends were in a 2005 Chevy Cobalt when the ignition switch turned suddenly from run mode to accessory mode, disabling the driver's ability to control the car. The vehicle swerved off the road, passed a ditch and grove of trees. The car finally stopped after hitting a telephone junction box and two trees. Unfortunately, the airbags did not deploy.

The car's driver sustained severe trauma but survived. The front seat passenger died the same day. The other victim who was on the backseat died in a hospital 11 days later.

The deceased victim's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the company. According to the lawsuit, GM was aware about the glitch but did nothing to prevent injuries or death. The suit contends that instead of issuing a recall or immediate repair or replacement, the company advised its dealers to tell owners to remove unnecessary things from their key chains. The defective ignition switch is linked to 13 deaths and 33 accidents in the United States.

In Illinois, Chicago products liability attorneys know that dangerous and defective automotive products can endanger the lives of many travelers. The family of deceased may file a lawsuit against a negligent manufacturer to compensate for their emotional pain and financial loss because of medical expenses, funeral costs and other damages.

Source: Austin Daily Herald, "Crash victim's father wants answers from Congress," Sarah Stultz, April 3, 2014

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