Loophole Closing on GM Ignition Switch Injury Lawsuits

Brain injury law suit one of many claims being brought against GM.

LoopholeMany Americans were upset by the 2009 bailout and restructuring of GM, for a variety of reasons. One of those reasons was that the reorganization protected the “new” GM from legacy liability issues stemming from the actions of the “old” GM. However, this loophole will more than likely not apply to the recent rash of lawsuits cropping up in response to the defective GM ignition switch debacle. If in fact it is determined that GM knowingly concealed defects prior to 2009 so that drivers were unaware that they had cause for action against the company until much later, plaintiffs would be allowed to pursue their claims against GM now.

One such claim involves Megan Phillips, a 17-year-old who suffered a traumatic brain injury when her Chevy Cobalt suddenly lost power and crashed. Her two passengers, Natasha Weigel and Amy Rademaker, were killed.

Investigations have revealed that this accident followed a pattern that is by now all too familiar for those who have been following the GM case. The excess weight of a keychain attached to the ignition key in Phillips’ car, combined with the natural jostling of driving, caused the ignition switch to turn from “run” to “accessory.” This shut off the engine and all power systems, including the air bags.

A nine-count lawsuit is being brought against GM by Megan Phillips as well as trustees representing her deceased friends, alleging that GM was responsible for the problems with the car since GM knew about defects as early as 2004 yet did not issue any recalls or warn consumers until this year.

The exact nature of Megan’s injuries is not noted in the description of the lawsuit, which only mentions “severe” brain injury. The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages for past and future medical expenses, lost income, and loss of future earning potential.

Brain injuries are one of the worst kinds of injuries to sustain, because due to the complex nature of the brain they can have long-lasting consequences. The brain does not heal in the same way a broken bone, a bruise, or a scar would. Some common consequences of a traumatic brain injury include:

  • Decreased cognitive function
  • Memory loss
  • Impaired balance or coordination
  • Loss of vision or hearing
  • Depression, anxiety, frustration, and other emotional problems
  • Impulse control problems
  • Personality changes

These consequences are tragic for any individual to experience, but especially for a 17-year-old who had her whole life ahead of her.


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