Despite the fact that GM has recalled 1.6 million vehicles for faulty ignition switches, acknowledging the flaw’s role in at least a dozen deaths and issuing a public apology, the corporation may not be held liable for damages as a result of the company’s 2009 bankruptcy filing and federal bailout.
As reported in the Los Angeles Times, bankruptcy absolved the coporation of all legal liabilities in crashes that occurred prior to the filing date of June 1, 2009. However, families of several victims involved in fatal crashes that were attributed to faulty ignition switches recently learned that GM was aware of the problem prior to their bankruptcy, and failed to fix it or otherwise notify the public. Attorneys for the victims are now attempting to convince the original bankruptcy judge that GM defrauded the court by withholding information, and should therefore be held accountable in the wrongful death suits.
Although GM has only acknowledged 12 deaths resulting from the ignition switch problem, independent studies indicate that the flaw may have played a pivotal role in as many as 300 deaths. While appealing to the bankruptcy judge may be a long shot, political representatives and the Center for Auto Safety suggest that the federal government should pursue criminal charges against GM and require the creation of a fund to compensate the victims and their families.
If you or a loved one have suffered serious injury or even death due to a faulty vehicle, you need professional legal guidance. Get in touch with Hodes Milman Liebeck today at (949) 640-8222 or online at hmlm.com for more information.