Pictured above: Mykia Jordan, a victim of GM’s faulty ignition switch that has affected hundreds, even thousands of people. Courtesy of NYT.
The New York Times reported Sunday morning on General Motors’ plan to compensate victims who were injured by the company’s faulty ignition switches. GM has recently faced intense scrutiny and backlash after it was found out that several employees knew about the faulty part and yet knowingly allowed them to be produced and installed in cars.
This reckless and irresponsible action on the company’s part has ultimately led to numerous injuries and deaths. GM has publicly linked 54 accidents and 13 deaths to their employees’ irresponsible behavior. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), General Motors listed a lawsuit that was filed on behalf of Haley Elise Van Pelt, who at 17 years old was in an accident caused by a faulty part. The New York Times writes that the accident caused a "catastrophic brain injury" to Van Pelt, leaving her with more than $1 million in medical bills since her 2003 accident.
23-year-old Mykia Jordan, another victim, was in a car accident that left her in a coma for three weeks and has left her with a permanent limp that requires a cane. Her baby was in the Chevrolet Cobalt with her but was miraculously unharmed.
GM has hired Kenneth R. Feinberg, a leading victim-compensation expert, to take on the task of preparing settlements and distributing to victims and their families. The company has a clear reason to initiate settlement procedures; GM will save much more money if the drivers and passengers of the 2.6 million recalled vehicles don’t initiate litigation through their own attorneys. The company will look at a combination of medical expenses, wages lost and pain and suffering that occurred as a result of an accident that involved one of their faulty parts. According to the NYT, industry experts expect that those who try to litigate their case and forego the settlement that GM proposes will likely face an aggressive and lengthy, although not impossible, fight in the courts.
(Pictured below: An example of the potential damage that could be done because of a failing ignition switch. Courtesy of the NYT)
If you or someone you know has been injured by a recalled product, merely sending the product back for a replacement or refund is unlikely to be an adequate response. Rather, an individual injured by a recalled product is likely entitled to greater compensation under the law. This likelihood is particularly true because large corporations that produce defective products normally carry large insurance policies for the benefit of the consumers that their products might injure.
If you or someone you know has been injured by a recalled or defective product, you deserve to understand the full extent of your legal rights and the compensation you may be entitled to receive. In such cases, you may be subject to a pressing statute of limitations (the deadline to make a claim), or you may be at risk of losing evidence critical to your case; therefore, it is essential that you act quickly to preserve your rights. The attorneys at Fears | Nachawati are national leaders in product recall cases and will be happy to assist you. For a free attorney consultation, please call 1.866.705.7584 or send an email to email@example.com.