Bronx Personal Injury & Real Estate Blog

Sunday, February 21, 2016

General Motors Prevails in First Ignition Switch Case

Automaker General Motors is facing a number of of personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits over its faulty ignition switches, which are believed to be installed in millions of automobiles across the world. The defective ignition switches are known to cause a complete power outage in the automobile while the driver is driving, creating not only a perilous situation for the motorist and the vehicle's  occupants, but also causing the airbags to fail to deploy. It is the latter problem that led  o a recall of over 30 million vehicles, as well as 124 tragic deaths.

Thanks to the initial litigation against General Motors on behalf of a Georgia woman killed in a Chevrolet vehicle, evidence began to emerge that GM knew about the ignition switch problems, and failed to do anything about it – for ten years.

 Fast forward to 2016, and General Motors was set to defend itself in the first of many lawsuits involving serious injuries caused by the defect. Scheduled for the first “Bellwether” trial, GM had prepared its case against an Oklahoma man alleging severe memory loss and other injuries after his airbag deployed in a single-vehicle collision in 2006. However, the plaintiff found himself in hot water after General Motors questioned the assertion that he “misplaced” a certified check needed to purchase his “dream home,” resulting in a loss of the opportunity. On cross examination, it came to light that the plaintiff actually presented a fraudulent or altered check to purchase the home – information that led to his impeachment on the witness stand. In light of this testimony, the plaintiff dropped his case before it ever got off the ground, and the first Bellwether trial was dismissed.

This is not to say, however, that the ignition switch cases against GM are set to disappear. In fact, counsel for injured plaintiffs have several more representative cases waiting in the wings for trial. Under civil procedure laws, a “Bellwether” trial is an opportunity for parties engaging in multi-district litigation (i.e., consolidated trials) to test the waters with a jury to determine a likely outcome. Often, when a corporation is defeated in a Bellwether trial, it will prompt settlement offers with remaining plaintiffs.

If you were recently injured in an auto accident and believe the issue may have been a defective part or mechanical problem with the vehicle, you should consult with a personal injury attorney.


Archived Posts


© 2017 Law Office of Ryan S. Goldstein, P.L.L.C. | Disclaimer
43 Westchester Square, Suite 2A , Bronx, NY 10461
| Phone: (718) 239-0239

Practice Areas | Results | About Us

Law Firm Website Design by
Amicus Creative