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GM accused of concealing evidence during settled lawsuit

The lawsuit involving ignition switches on General Motors' vehicles demonstrates just how complex these matters can become with all of the legal wrangling. The attorney who originally brought a wrongful death lawsuit that may have eventually led to 2.59 million cars being recalled would like to attempt to have this case revived.

GM had settled this matter in September. The lawsuit concerned a 29-year-old who died while driving her 2005 Chevy Cobalt. This vehicle was said to have contained one of the switches in question that apparently cause vehicles to lose power. The plaintiff’s attorney now claims that GM withheld information from his clients through fraudulent means that may have prevented a settlement from taking place.

This will be a difficult task because courts are often reluctant to reopen injury claims where a settlement has already taken place. A high burden of proof will probably need to be met before the court will allow it in this circumstance.

It is claimed that a GM engineer falsely denied having any knowledge concerning a change in the switch design for the vehicle. A statement was released asserting that the plaintiffs in this lawsuit would never have settled had this "critical evidence" been revealed. GM denies that it engaged in any fraudulent behavior.

GM has already been facing a number of lawsuits concerning injuries and deaths due to vehicles that are reported to be defective. It's not difficult to imagine just how much money is at stake concerning these lawsuits.

As products liability attorneys in Hawaii, we have seen how defective products have contributed to injuries and even deaths. It's important to hold manufacturers accountable in these matters so that businesses take actions to prevent similar injuries or deaths from occurring again.

Source: Claims Journal, "Lawyer Wants to Revive GM Ignition Switch Death Lawsuit," Patrick G. Lee, May 14, 2014

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