Faulty Ignition Switch Settlement
The following is a piece written by Emily Field of Law360 (with additional reporting by Mike LaSusa. Editing by Gemma Horowitz) regarding a $120 million settlement on top of $34.5 million in attorneys fees for drivers who claim their cars lost value due to faulty ignition switches.
Per Law360: General Motors told a New York federal judge late Friday that the company had reached a $120 million settlement, plus up to $34.5 million in attorney fees, with drivers who claim their cars lost value due to faulty ignition switches.
Under the terms of the settlement agreement, GM will contribute up to $70 million into a common fund for the drivers, and the trust connected to the company’s 2009 bankruptcy will contribute up to $50 million. The deal ends claims from drivers who said their vehicles sank in value over recalls related to the ignition switch defects.
“This announcement marks the beginning of the end of ignition switch debacle, from the economic loss side,” Robert Hilliard of Hilliard Munoz Gonzales LLP, counsel for the drivers, told Law360 on Monday. “Though there are many months of work ahead, including the necessity of obtaining judicial approval — this is a significant milestone.”
GM previously paid more than $1 billion to settle other civil and criminal cases arising from the ignition-switch defects. More than 100 deaths have been attributed to the design flaw, and GM initiated an extensive recall of the affected cars in 2014.
“GM believes the settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate, following recent court rulings in this matter,” a GM spokesman told Law360 on Monday. “GM took the lessons it learned from the ignition switch recalls and has transformed its culture to focus on customer safety, with rigorous internal processes empowering everyone to raise any safety issue that might affect our customers, vehicles or employees.”
The litigation, which was consolidated into an MDL in June 2014, alleges that many GM cars were outfitted with faulty ignition switches, which could cause keys to slip out of position and disable brakes and air bags.
The deal has yet to be approved by U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman, who is overseeing the MDL, and the bankruptcy court.
Earlier in March, Judge Furman ordered the initiation of a fourth “wave” of multidistrict litigation over alleged defects in the ignition switches of some GM vehicles, pointing to the “remarkable success” of the so-called wave approach in handling the sprawling MDL.
The judge issued an order defining which plaintiffs could be included in “wave four,” in addition to setting deadlines for discovery and motion practice in the wrongful death and personal injury cases.
Judge Furman also said he was “sympathetic” to concerns voiced by the plaintiffs about “claims that have been pending in this MDL for a significant amount of time.”
GM had asked Judge Furman to consider starting a new wave, noting that the process of bundling cases together had helped to put a dent in the number of unresolved claims.
Editor’s note on Faulty Ignition Switch Settlement:
This piece is written about recent settlement reached through General Motors for their Faulty Ignition Switch Class Action Lawsuit. If you have gone through issues similar to what is covered above, we do ask that you contact us today! If you are considered eligible to be among the class of consumers described in the article above, you may eventually be able to participate in receiving any compensation the court may award.
If you believe that what is alleged in this piece has affected you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d be happy to help you take a step in the right direction, fight this issue, and better enable you to join the consumer class action. If interested, please send an email to Outreach@ConsiderTheConsumer.com, find us on Twitter or Facebook, or even connect with us directly on our website! We look forward to hearing from you all.
Similarly, please check out our current list of Class Action Lawsuits and Class Action Lawsuit Investigations, here.
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