A Texas woman who blamed herself for the death of her fiancé in a car crash is suing General Motors (GM) alleging the company covered up a defective ignition switch in her car. The now 31 year old pled guilty to criminally negligent homicide in 2004. She was sentenced to five years of deferred punishment and 260 hours of community service. She was also ordered to pay for her late fiancé’s funeral and $3,500 in court fees.
The lawsuit alleges that a defective GM ignition switch caused her then new 2004 Saturn Ion to lose power steering and brakes and disabled the airbags. The car went off the road, severely injuring the Texas resident. Her fiancé, a passenger in the car, died from head injuries, a severed liver, ruptured spleen and broken bones. The woman and her late fiancé’s mother sued GM after the accident and settled for $75,000. Their attorney claims that GM blamed the woman for the accident, and she has carried that guilt with her for 10 years.
The mother of the man killed contacted the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to find out if the Texas woman’s 2004 Ion was part of the recall of vehicles with faulty ignition switches. The mother received a letter recently from the NTSB, saying that not only was the vehicle part of the recall, but the man’s death was one of the 13 fatal crashes that GM attributed to the defective ignition switches. After an internal report, GM fired 15 employees and disciplined 5 others for their role in covering up the causes of those deaths and numerous other injuries and is facing more and more lawsuits relating to their negligence.
The Texas woman is now seeking to reopen her GM lawsuit, wanting the auto maker to be held accountable. The case alleges GM had known about the faulty switches five months before she pled guilty, but held its tongue and watched her get convicted.
If you have suffered a serious injury in an accident caused by an auto defect, you may be entitled to receive compensation from the auto manufacturer for your injuries. Undoubtedly, GM will face future lawsuits filed by injured motorists who crashed due to the various defects, and the attorneys at Lopez McHugh, LLP are prepared to assist in such lawsuits. Do not hesitate to contact our office for help and to schedule a free consultation.