GM Ignition Switch Death Toll Rises To 21September 23, 2014
An attorney representing the automaker stated that the number of GM ignition switch deaths eligible to receive settlement payments stands at 21. The company has received more than 140 GM ignition switch death claims and is reviewing the remaining cases. Kenneth Feinberg, the attorney hired by GM to review the cases, stated that the company has also received more than 500 injury claims related to a faulty ignition switch GM engineers installed in some of the automaker’s most popular models.
Dispute Over GM Ignition Switch Death Count
In an internal report released in February, the automaker maintained that the GM ignition switch death toll stood at 13. However, plaintiff’s attorneys have stated that the GM ignition switch death toll was at least 100. While the GM report only counted those accidents which involved front-side collisions in which the air bags failed to deploy, attorneys for accident victims have alleged that this count does not encompass other fatal accidents attributed to the ignition switch flaw.
Design Flaw Leads to GM Ignition Switch Deaths
The GM ignition switch death lawsuits stem from a design flaw that engineers allegedly attempted to cover up after numerous accident reports became public. The design flaw involved the ignition switch moving from the “ON” to the “ACC” position, which would cause the vehicle to lose power. In these instances, the driver would lose control of the vehicle and the air bags would fail to deploy. The flaw has been blamed for hundreds GM ignition switch deaths and thousands of injuries.
Discovery Begins In GM Ignition Switch Death Cases
In related news, a federal judge has ruled that plaintiff’s attorneys could initiate requests for documents related to the GM ignition switch death and injury cases. U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman ruled that the request for discovery documents would not be affected by a pending ruling by a bankruptcy judge. Attorneys for the automaker asked that the judge wait until the bankruptcy ruling, expected sometime next year, to start the discovery process. The ruling would determine whether the company would be exempt from some GM ignition switch death claims stemming from incidents prior to the company’s 2009 emergence from bankruptcy.
Know Your Rights in a GM Ignition Switch Death Lawsuit
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