GM Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The motives of General Motors (GM) are reportedly in question by attorneys for Ken and Beth Melton over GM’s request to move their wrongful death lawsuit. The Meltons’ daughter, Brooke, was one of at least 13 people to die allegedly due to a defective ignition switch. Brooke died in the related car accident in 2010. The legal action requested by GM would put the case behind the “Old GM” wall that exists for cases that began prior to Chapter 11 reorganization. The presumed strategy is that the previously bankrupt corporation will not be subject to more GM wrongful death lawsuits.
GM CEO Mary Barra addressed concerns of victims’ families in a statement to the public and employees. “I realize there are no words of mine that can ease their grief and pain. But as I lead GM through this crisis, I want everyone to know that I am guided by two clear principles: First, that we do the right thing for those who were harmed; and, second, that we accept responsibility for our mistakes and commit to doing everything within our power to prevent this problem from ever happening again.”
Questions have come up because her statement does not reflect GM’s immediate actions after her speech. GM moved to bring the Melton’s civil liability suit from the State Court in Cobb County, GA where it was originally filed, to the Federal courts and MDL based in New York. If this movement is permitted, the Melton’s case may fall under the umbrella of protection allowed by the courts for GM’s Chapter 11 status, granted in 2009. They will join a pool of other affected individuals who risk receiving only a fraction of their award due to bankruptcy protections covering “Old GM.”
GM is also alleging fraudulent conduct for re-filing in Cobb County. The Meltons’ representation paints this choice to “attack” a family trying to recover damages from a GM wrongful death lawsuit as another indicator that the company cannot be trusted to do the right thing on its own.
GM is also scrutinized for letting problems with their products exist for as long as a decade without issuing recalls for correction. Victims’ families and some Congress-people have expressed that GM dragging their feet on the issue should not clear them from any responsibility for the cases.
Seeking Legal Advice
Legal actions like the GM wrongful death lawsuits are often difficult cases where experienced representation is necessary. People that believe they have suffered due to a product affected by a GM recall should consult with Attorney Group to examine their options. A free, no obligation consultation can help determine if there are grounds to pursue compensation and damages. If you decide to pursue a claim, Attorney Group can connect you with an experienced attorney who can help you through the legal process. Contact us today for your free consultation.