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Hawaii residents should be aware of defective products lawsuits

In Hawaii and throughout the nation, manufacturers and vendors can be held liable for injury, illness or death suffered by a consumer who has used a flawed product. Responsibility for placing defective products into the hands of consumers lies with all parties within the distribution chain. Recently, a family has accepted a new settlement from an automobile manufacturing company blamed for producing a vehicle with a reportedly flawed ignition system.

The parents of a young woman, who was killed in an accident five years ago when she lost control of her steering due to an apparent ignition defect, recently accepted a multimillion dollar settlement from General Motors through its General Motors Ignition Compensation Fund. Reports indicate that this particular defect in a certain make of automobile has thus far resulted in more than $2 billion in litigation costs for the manufacturing company. Lawsuit depositions revealed that manufacturing engineers were apparently aware of the defect issues in the product design dating back as far as 2003.

Data provided suggests that the ignition switches of the GM Chevy Cobalt can become dislocated during vehicle operation, causing loss of electricity in steering as well as airbag and other malfunctions in the vehicle. Evidence presented in a lawsuit suggested that one engineer had requested a design change in the product. Apparently, the engineer later denied making the request.

There are more than 100 pending lawsuits against General Motors in addition to the parents of the young woman who recently accepted a large settlement. Any Hawaii resident who has suffered injury due to defective products in a motor vehicle or other purchased item has the right to consult legal professionals for the purpose of filing a product liability claim in a civil court. Attorneys with experience in handling these types of claims are available to advise and assist a consumer who is planning to file a suit against a manufacturer or seller of a flawed product.

Source: freep.com, "Feinberg helped settle key GM ignition death case", Greg Gardner, March 16, 2015

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