Colorado GM vehicle owners who were affected by faulty GM ignition switches may have the ability to seek punitive damages. However, a judge ruled that the affected individuals would have to prove that the company knew about the faulty ignition switches but attempted to cover the problems up after it emerged from a 2009 bankruptcy.
The company reportedly knew that some of its vehicles were outfitted with faulty ignition switches but failed to recall the cars for more than a decade. In early 2014, the affected cars were recalled, but many of the company’s safety investigators, engineers and attorneys who were involved in the company both prior to and after the 2009 bankruptcy reportedly knew about the faulty ignition switches.
According to a Texas attorney who has several lawsuits against the car company still pending, the ruling could cause plaintiffs to seek billions in punitive damages. It is important to note that the ruling applies to those who were injured or lost family members in accidents caused by faulty ignition switches after 2009 when the old company became the New GM. Additionally, GM vehicle owners who lost value in their vehicles directly due to the company’s conduct could also potentially file lawsuits.
Companies are expected to ensure that the products they produce or market are safe for use. If a person suffers injuries as the direct result of a dangerous product, a products liability attorney may assist with the lawsuit. In many cases, the attorney may help the injured person prove that the product was the cause of the injuries and that the company either knew that the product was dangerous or that it failed to provide adequate warnings.