In early November, U.S. Bankruptcy judge Robert Gerber issued a decision that allows victims of GM’s ignition switch recall scandal to file for punitive damages. The decision also clarified his April 15 ruling that barred lawsuits for victims that were injured or killed prior to GM’s bankruptcy filing in 2009.
The National Law Journal reported, “In his latest decision, Gerber found that GM could be liable for punitive damages even if its actions involved knowledge of the defect it inherited prior to its bankruptcy—such as old documents or employees who stayed with the company.”
Finally, a roadmap to justice
In the past, we have written about how poorly the Department of Justice handled the ignition switch recall and how the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration failed to hold GM accountable. With this new decision, it looks like GM may finally face significant financial consequences for the injuries and deaths caused by their defective ignition switch.
The new decision by Gerber is raising further questions about GM’s knowledge of the faulty ignition switches. Plaintiffs lawyers have filed a motion to depose a GM employee about a “war room” that the automaker allegedly created to deal with the consequences from the defect that directly caused 124 deaths and untold numbers of injuries.
Gerber’s decision may pave the way for lawyers to conclusively establish that GM had prior knowledge of the ignition switch defect and failed to disclose that information in a timely manner. This issue needs attention; this corporation failed to disclose a problem that killed people, and GM needs to be held properly accountable.
To date, no criminal charges have been filed against any GM employees. The DOJ fined GM, but then deferred prosecution and placed the company on a 3-year probation. This massive corporation got away with a slap on the wrist after knowingly causing the deaths of over 100 people.
In the end, plaintiffs’ lawyers are the ones who are going to expose the truth. U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman found that a deposition about GM’s “war room” could be held in Detroit. Hopefully, because of the efforts of attorneys fighting for the rights of their clients, we will finally know the truth about GM’s ignition switch recall.
Attorneys around the country are fighting for justice every day. In our small corner of the country, Crandall & Pera Law fights for our clients’ rights. If you have suffered because of someone else’s negligence, we can help get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation at one of our offices in Ohio or Kentucky.