General Motors Settles Wrongful Death Lawsuit

GM settles third 'bellwether' ignition switch lawsuit before the case was to begin in New York.

General Motors Settles Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Posted in News

— General Motors has agreed to settle a wrongful death lawsuit after two consecutive victories in trials concerning the automaker's deadly ignition switches.

The first trial was dismissed after the plaintiff was caught lying and the second trial saw the jury ruling the ignition switch didn't cause the crash of a 2007 Saturn Sky. The first two trials were part of six scheduled "bellwether" trials that will be used to determine how to proceed in hundreds of other cases.

The third ignition switch trial was scheduled for May 2016, but GM agreed to settle the wrongful death lawsuit before the case reached the jury. The case revolves around Nadia Yingling and the death of her husband in a 2013 crash.

The case focused on a 2006 Saturn Ion accident in Pennsylvania in 2013 that killed James Yingling, a father of five. As with all the lawsuits, Yingling's wife filed suit after claiming the defective ignition switch is what cause the death of her husband.

Her lawsuit alleges the ignition switch moved out of the "run" position and caused the engine to shut off, something that caused her husband to lose control of the Ion. Her husband died of brain injuries after the car crashed into a concrete culvert. With the engine shut down, the car lost its power steering, power brakes and more importantly, the ability to deploy the airbags.

This third case was picked by attorneys for the plaintiffs and based on the results, a good choice it was. However, nothing is known about the settled lawsuit because the agreement between GM and Yingling is confidential.

The settlement will add to the $2 billion GM has already paid out because of scamming the public and government for 10 years. Some of that money includes $575 million to settle 1,385 death and injury claims and a shareholder suit, and $595 million to resolve claims for 124 deaths and 275 injuries caused by the defective ignition switches. Add to that $900 million to buy its way out of a government criminal probe.