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Victims of defective GM vehicles fighting for compensation

Although automobiles are the most common mode of transportation in Connecticut and the rest of the country, it is important for people to remember that they are large, heavy pieces of machinery that can be deadly. Unfortunately, some car manufacturers fail to design or assemble their products correctly, which puts consumers at even greater risk. In many cases, victims are entitled to compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit, but there are some exceptions.

In 2006, two teenagers died in a Chevy Cobalt; if the airbag had functioned correctly and the engine had not shut off, they may have survived the accident. Thankfully, General Motors eventually admitted that it had sold vehicles with defective parts, and the company has recalled some of its compact cars. Unfortunately, victims and their family members are not able to receive compensation because General Motors filed for bankruptcy and accepted a federal bailout in July 2009. The terms of the federal bailout had been negotiated quickly, and while they protected GM from the cost of litigation and enabled the company to get a fresh start, they also allow GM to avoid responsibility for any injuries or deaths that occurred prior to 2009.

Some victims and their family members, along with a prominent attorney general from Connecticut, are putting pressure on GM to establish a victims’ fund to help people who have suffered as a result of defects in GM vehicles.

In most cases, victims and their family members who were killed or injured as a result of a faulty product or part may be entitled to compensation for their pain and suffering. In these cases, it may be best to work with an attorney.

Source: CBS News, “GM recall: Lawmakers, families condemn government bailout immunity,” March 26, 2014

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