Lawsuit that prompted GM’s massive recall may live again
When the Melton’s lost their daughter in 2010, they promised her justice. It was that investigation that led to the discovery of the faulty ignition switch and recall of more than 2.6 million General Motors (GM) vehicles earlier this year.
Now Lance Cooper, the Melton’s attorney, wants to reopen the case.
The Melton’s settled with GM last September for an undisclosed sum, but recent information caused them to reconsider. After discovering the increase in size of the ignition switches, Cooper questioned GM engineer Ray DeGiorgio about the swap in court.
While under oath, DiGiorgio claimed he didn’t have any knowledge about the larger detent plunger with the same part number. After GM recently released thousands of documents to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), this was proven to be a lie.
Cooper’s intent is to prove fraud, which can be difficult. Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond in Virginia, believes it won’t be easy for Cooper or the Melton’s.
“Courts are reluctant to reopen tort settlement agreements…[As a result] they impose a rigorous proof burden on those who seek to do so,” Tobias said.
By reexamining the case, Cooper can possibly discover more information about GM’s knowledge related to the ignition switch defect and shed more light about how the deadly error was overlooked for more than a decade.
GM denies all accusations of fraudulent behavior in court.
With evidence continuing to surface and more claims coming to light, GM’s recall woes won’t see an end any time soon.
If you or someone you love experienced an accident in one of the vehicles listed below after it suddenly shut off or stalled, contact us immediately. We want to help you get the justice your deserve.
Here is the list of vehicles recalled for defective ignition switches and lock cylinders:
- Chevrolet Cobalt, 2005 to 2010
- Chevrolet HHR, 2006 to 2011
- Saturn Ion, 2003 to 2007
- Saturn Sky, 2007-2010
- Pontiac Solstice, 2006 to 2010
- Pontiac G5, 2007 to 2010
Gardella, R., Gutierrez, G., Monahan, K. & Reynolds, T. (2014). Parents ‘boiling with anger’ after daughter’s death in GM car. NBC News. [Link]
Lee, P. G. (2014). GM ignition-switch death suit should be revived, lawyer says. BloombergBusinessweek. [Link]
Valdes-Dapena, P. (2014). Family seeks to re-open GM recall lawsuit. CNN Money. [Link]