Despite accepting complete responsibility for their failure to disclose awareness of defective ignition switches affecting millions of vehicles, General Motors Co. (GM) secured liability protection from related lawsuits involving crashes prior to their 2009 bankruptcy.
This liability protection is allowing GM to avoid lawsuits related to crashes involving faulty ignition switches which took place before the company’s bankruptcy. Though the decision to grant immunity from such lawsuits is currently being challenged, a ruling is not expected until 2016, leaving many lawsuits in limbo.
Victims pursing lawsuits for injuries and deaths that occurred before GM’s bankruptcy are worried that the company will retain legal immunity. This would leave victims without eligibility to recover compensation for damaged property, personal injuries, and wrongful death of loved ones.
Compensation Issued by GM
Despite the company’s legal immunity, GM has begun to offer compensation for accident victims through a fund managed by attorney Kenneth R. Feinberg. Roughly 2.6 million recalled GM vehicles will be eligible for compensation through the fund.
Approximately one-third of the lawsuits which qualify for compensation from the fund occurred before GM’s 2009 bankruptcy. GM is offering such compensation to victims in efforts to put this scandal to rest, as it is the most extensive vehicle safety scandal in company history.
GM reports that 399 injury and wrongful death lawsuits are eligible for compensation; 32 percent involve accidents which predate their bankruptcy. Of these lawsuits, 124 involved wrongful death, 18 involve catastrophic injuries, and 257 involve serious injuries from accidents caused by GM’s faulty ignition switches.
Peterson & Associates, P.C.™ is committed to holding negligent manufacturers accountable for the damage they have caused. If you have suffered an injury from a defective GM ignition switch, we can advise you of your legal rights. Let us fight to secure the compensation you deserve.