Lieff Cabraser Civil Justice Blog
First Trial Case on GM Ignition Switch Defect

Judge States GM’s Arguments “Fail as a Matter of Law” in First Case on Ignition Switch Defect

U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman in Manhattan stated that the arguments General Motors Co. presented for dismissal of the automaker’s faulty ignition switch trial “fail as a matter of law.” As a result of Furman’s refusal to dismiss plaintiffs’ allegations, the first case against GM will proceed to trial, set to begin January 11.

As reported by the Wall Street Journal and numerous other publications, this is the first of six bellwether cases scheduled to move forward throughout 2016, with a trial for the last case to take place between Nov. 14 and Dec. 2. (A bellwether trial is a case that the court and the parties select to test their arguments, with the goal of moving the larger litigation towards resolution.) These lawsuits involve plaintiffs who are not being compensated by the existing $625 million GM fund, of which $595 million has been paid out for 399 death/personal injury claims.

In the 26 million recalled GM vehicles, the ignition switch can turn off the engine and shut off the car’s electrical system on its own, leading up to fatal accidents. GM allegedly concealed its knowledge of this dangerous switch defect for over a decade. The defect has been linked to over 100 deaths and hundreds of serious injuries.

GM Ignition Defect Injury Attorneys at Lieff Cabraser

Automakers have a legal duty to produce cars that are safe, and promptly correct any known safety defects. Damages in personal injury lawsuits against auto manufacturers for selling defective vehicles with safety flaws include damages for.

  • Past and future physical pain and suffering, mental anguish and physical impairment;
  • Past and future medical, incidental and hospital expenses;
  • Past and future loss of earnings and earning capacity; and
  • Punitive damages in cases of egregious misconduct.

If the driver or occupant was killed, surviving family members may file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Lieff Cabraser has successfully represented persons across the United States injured in car accidents due to safety defects in the vehicles. Learn more about the GM Faulty Ignition Recall here.