General Motors, the largest US automaker and the third biggest in the world, has settled a civil case with the family of a woman who died in an accident linked to the automaker’s defective ignition switch.
The lawsuit is well known because its appearance was one of the factors that helped shed light on the company’s at least a decade long delay of issuing the safety campaign that would fix the faulty switches. The parents of Brooke Melton, represented by Lance Cooper of the Cooper Firm of Marietta, Georgia, and the Beasley Allen firm of Montgomery, Alabama allowed their attorney to disclose they settled the civil action, but without revealing further details. Back in March 2010, Brooke Melton, 29, was killed in a car crash involving her 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt after the car’s ignition switch turned from “on” and her vehicle collided with another. Over the course of the accident’s investigation Cooper found out that GM had redesigned the ignition switch of the model after complaints of similar occurrences. After that, in 2013 the Metlon family settled an original lawsuit for $5 million after presenting the findings to GM lawyers.
Last year the family opened a second civil action against the carmaker after finding out in early 2014 that GM ordered the recalls of vehicles equipped with the defective part and disclosed its officials had known about the issue for more than a decade. “One of the most important issues for the Meltons was accountability,” commented lawyer Lance Cooper. The recalls of early 2014 led to millions of other vehicles to be subsequently recalled by GM, with the company also hit by fines and numerous official probes and congressional hearings.