General Motors (GM) and attorney generals from 49 states and the District of Columbia recently agreed to a $120 settlement to resolve consumer protection investigations into defective ignition-switches installed in millions of automobiles. As part of the consent decree, the Detroit automaker will not only pay out millions to individual states but also fund global organizations dedicated to automobile safety.
The settlement comes two-years after GM settles similar claims with the federal government, agreeing to a $900 million payout to resolve a criminal probe by the U.S. Department of Justice. The federal payout was much lower than expected but the agreement did require GM to establish a $600 million fund to compensate victims harmed by the deadly defect in an estimated 2.6 million vehicles.
In 2017, several lawsuit went to trial brought by plaintiffs alleging they suffered serious injuries when the car keys in their GM vehicles suddenly rotated, causing the vehicle’s engine to shut off and cut power to steering and braking systems. Many of the lawsuits claimed GM knew for years about the flaws in the ignition-switch design but did nothing to warn consumers about the risks or issue a timely recall.
The investigations into when and what GM knew about its defective ignition-switches is another classic example of large corporations allowing their greed to put profits over public safety. Lawsuits into the ignition-switches revealed GM redesigned the part as a cost saving measure several years ago and most likely knew about possible dangers to drivers and passengers.
Often times, powerful corporations like GM flat out deny liability despite strong evidence showing outright malfeasance. While we should expect wrongdoers to accept responsibility for their actions and compensate victims accordingly, the sad truth is that many defendants must be compelled through a personal injury lawsuit.
Filing a defective vehicle injury lawsuit can not only recoup much needed compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, but also bring to light critical details of how and why companies allowed their unsafe products to reach market. Although no amount of money can undo the harm caused in an accident, our civil justice system none the less prescribes monetary compensation as a remedy for victims to be made whole again.
As a law firm committed to social justice and holding powerful entities accountable for their indifference to public safety, the personal injury attorneys of The Cochran Firm, D.C. frequently represent clients harmed by defectively designed and manufactured products. We strongly encourage injury victims to considering consulting with our personal injury lawyers in Washington, D.C. about their case to discover what types of compensation they may be entitled to by filing a lawsuit.
The Cochran Firm, D.C. offers free, confidential legal consultations to injury victims and do not charge any upfront fees to litigate personal injury lawsuits. Furthermore, because our DC injury lawyers represent clients on a contingency basis, our law firm does not collect any legal fees until we will our cases.
Call 1-800-THE FIRM (843-3476) 24-hours a day or fill out an online contact form for your free legal consultation. Because strict time limits apply to filing personal injury lawsuits, we encourage victims to contact our firm at their earliest convenience.