GM Liable for Punitive Damages in Defective Ignition Cases

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Helen Jones
Executive Vice President 

On November 9, 2015, New York federal bankruptcy Judge Robert Gerber ruled that plaintiffs with claims against General Motors over faulty ignition switches can now seek punitive damages against the company.

This ruling follows closely behind GM’s September 2015 announcement that it had established a $575 million settlement fund to resolve civil claims tied to its defective ignition switches. Judge Gerber’s new ruling now means that the thousands of plaintiffs who opted to not participate in the settlement pool are now entitled to argue for punitive damages if they can prove that GM employees and engineers knew of the defects after the company’s 2009 declaration of bankruptcy. In addition to proving knowledge, plaintiffs must show that GM failed to fix the defect. The defect has been linked to hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries.

The case is: Johnson v. Emerson Climate Technologies & Fusite.

Plaintiff Support offers a variety of settlement funding services to help plaintiffs and attorneys during and after a personal injury case. Learn more about how we can help you.

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