Parents Who Lost Child to Faulty Ignition Switch in GM Vehicle Wins Whistleblower Lawsuit
The parents who originally helped expose the faulty ignition switch problem that plagued millions of GM vehicles and is responsible for the death of over 50 people have now settled their second whistleblower lawsuit with the major vehicle manufacturer.
The victim, Brooke Melton, was driving her Chevrolet Cobalt on March 10, 2010 – her 29th birthday – when the vehicle’s gears slipped out of the “run” position, which caused her to crash her vehicle. Her parents, Ken and Beth Melton, were convinced that there was no way their daughter drove irresponsibly, and they hired an engineer to investigate the wreckage of her vehicle. That expert engineer did in fact find a problem with the car’s ignition switch, which would have caused it to switch out of a functional position quickly. The Meltons filed a wrongful death lawsuit against GM in 2013 and settled out of court for $5 million.
However, GM agreed to the lawsuit just a year before the company tried to quickly issue a vehicle recall for older model cars – usually in the 2004/2005 model years – due to 13 deaths and numerous personal injuries related to the ignition switches. That vehicle recall ballooned into a near-7 million unit recall, a Congressional hearing regarding GM’s failure to recall the vehicles in a proper timeframe, and numerous lawsuits filed for deaths blamed on accident or criminal intent. GM created a compensation fund for the victims of their faulty ignition switches, which has begun to investigate claims and issue compensation to victims.
After learning the extent of the problem GM created, the Meltons returned their original settlement and asked the judge to reopen the case. On Friday, March 13th, the couple agreed to another settlement with GM for their daughter’s wrongful death.
“The fact that Mr. and Mrs. Melton would be willing to take on a corporate giant and [are] directly responsible for alerting both the government and the public to a massive cover-up by General Motors is one of the most courageous things that I’ve experienced in my career as a lawyer,” the family’s attorney said.
“We want to know who at General Motors knew, and what General Motors is going to do in the future, and what happened to Brooke and who allowed it,” Beth Melton when she and her husband reopened their case.
The Strom Law Firm Can Fight on Behalf of Victims Injured by General Motors’ Faulty Ignition Switch Defects with Personal Injury Lawsuits
Current safety experts know, from CEO Mary Barra’s Congressional testimony, that some engineers at General Motors as early as 2001 knew about the problem with the ignition switches, but failed to warn anyone with final decision-making power in the company, and refused to help with a vehicle recall regarding the ignition switches.
General Motors filed for bankruptcy in 2009, and part of the deal to receive government help is that the company would disclose all potential safety hazards at that time. GM failed to do so, and could be in violation of their bankruptcy conditions, not to mention the almost 70 people that have died over the last 10 years because the company put profits over consumer safety.
If you or a loved one have owned a GM vehicle and been involved in a car crash that caused serious personal injury or killed someone you love, you could be eligible for either the GM compensation fund, or a faulty ignition switch personal injury lawsuit. The South Carolina personal injury attorneys at the Strom Law Firm offer free consultations to evaluate your case, so contact us today. 803.252.4800