General Motors Recall Frustration
LM Otero/APA customer talks about getting her 2010 Chevy Cobalt repaired after GM recalled 2.6 million vehicles to repair faulty ignition switches.
By Jessica Dye

NEW YORK -- General Motors (GM) has lost its bid to dismiss a lawsuit accusing the automaker of concealing critical evidence about a faulty ignition switch linked to the death of a Georgia woman in 2010.

During a hearing Saturday, Cobb County State Court Judge Kathryn Tanksley denied GM's motion to dismiss the new lawsuit filed in May by the family of Brooke Melton, according to a statement from the company.

Melton died in March 2010 when the ignition switch on her 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt slipped into accessory mode and the car collided with another vehicle, according to the suit.

Ken and Beth Melton, her parents, had previously sued the company in 2011 and settled in September 2013 for a reported $5 million.

Information that emerged during the original lawsuit -- including a design change to the switch -- helped trigger the recall of 2.6 million GM vehicles, including the Cobalt, and prompted congressional, federal and other investigations into whether the company had withheld knowledge of the problem.

After the recall, the Meltons said they asked GM to withdraw the settlement, but the company refused, according to court filings. The family then filed a new lawsuit in May claiming that the company had fraudulently concealed critical evidence about the switch, and that a GM engineer who testified in the case had lied under oath about the part.

The Meltons' lawsuit said that the company had purposely misled them in order to force them to settle their case.

GM had argued that the case should be dismissed because it had already settled the Meltons' claims over Brooke Melton's death. But Tanksley said Saturday that the case could move forward, according to GM.

The company said it was disappointed in the decision and continued to believe the lawsuit was blocked by terms of the 2013 settlement. "GM will review the court's order once it is entered and will evaluate its options," spokesman Pat Morrissey said in an email.

A lawyer for the Meltons, Lance Cooper, said the ruling would enable discovery to proceed.

"This will allow the Meltons to finally get the answers to their questions of who at GM knew about the defects in Brooke's car, why she was never told about the design change with the ignition switch and who participated in the decision to conceal evidence during their previous case."

The Meltons' lawsuit is among dozens to hit the automaker in the wake of several GM switch-related recalls this year, including claims for injuries or deaths linked to faulty ignition switches, as well as customers who say their cars lost value as a result of the recalls.

The company on Aug. 1 began accepting claims for a program to compensate serious injuries and deaths in accidents tied to defective switches in the Cobalt, the Saturn Ion and related models.

Although the program is accepting claims from people who previously settled crash lawsuits against the company, lawyers for the Meltons have previously told Reuters that they intend to pursue their case in court.

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I rented a Chevy Colbolt in 2007. My leg hit the keychain while driving on the expressway and the car stopped right in the middle of the expressway. Luckly the cars behind me moved to other lanes or I would have been a causalty too. I know GM only hired YES MEN and did not even want women working there. So I am not surprised that no one spoke up in GM meetings about the possibility of a recall. Perhaps since Romney said Corporations are People that some of the People (like Bob Lutz and Rick Wagner who were Chairman and CEO respectively during the time of the crises) should go to prision.

August 11 2014 at 8:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was a Chevy owner many times over, and that is now done. I absolutely will NEVER buy another piece of their junk. The arrogance of that bunch defies the imagination. I am of the opinion that the ones hiding the facts related to the fatalities, etc, be tried and those convicted and sent to jail. In case you didn't know it, their sales are UP, in part due to their issuing lones to unqualified buyers and then "bunching" those loans much like the Home Loan collapse. DON'T BUY GM

August 11 2014 at 5:45 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to djparker's comment

Sales are up because GM finally has a woman running the company. GM used to have 95% white men at the top even though women represented more than 85% of purchasing decisions and more than 50% of purchases.

August 11 2014 at 8:49 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

No, they are up because the scumbags in the white house are using OUR money to buy the cars.

August 12 2014 at 8:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to slackwarerobert's comment

You think so huh? lol. You Republibillies are hilarious.

August 12 2014 at 1:00 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down

You WON. How can something help you win better?
The truth is it is the DRIVERS fault. THEY ran into something. You don't need an ignition switch to drive a car, any car thief will tell you that.

August 11 2014 at 4:51 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Tis is the thanks we get for bailing their crooked asses out of bankruptcy

August 11 2014 at 3:23 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to yozi2's comment

Yes, more junk vehicles from a crap company.

August 11 2014 at 4:29 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply

When the bloodsucking lawyers and these people give back the cash they got already, then fine, open the suit again. That will never happen.

August 11 2014 at 10:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The ignition switch position slipped from Run to ACC? Those GM bean counters had really done it this time. Needless to say, those junkers (and most likely others) must have been plagued from head to toe with a myriad of cheap crappy parts. Avoid GM junkers at all costs!

August 11 2014 at 10:34 AM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rgkarasiewicz's comment

Good luck in second grade this year.

August 11 2014 at 1:48 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to richard's comment

Better to be in second grade than stuck with a GM junker.

August 11 2014 at 3:07 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down

So we can now file, settle a lawsuit then a few years later go for more money?

What a country. I didn't win enough money from my lotto ticket, I want more.

The people attacking GM should do some research. Many of the injured were drunk or kids joyriding in cars taken without permission. But squeezing cash out of a corporation will heal the pain.

The stupidity in this nation and this form of media is astounding.

August 11 2014 at 9:24 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

I agree put the SCREWS to GM!!!! They deserve every lawsuit that is filed against them!!!!!

August 11 2014 at 8:35 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply

When is our Government going after GM. They have extorted lots of money from the large banks, and it is time GM is made to pay, since we bailed them out, without good reason. Their cars are not very good ; buy a Ford or a foreign car!

August 11 2014 at 7:41 AM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rcohn95038's comment

The last thing that I was going to do was to purchase a GM junker so I went for a Jag.

August 11 2014 at 10:37 AM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to rgkarasiewicz's comment

unfortunately the best thing you can do to a jag is put a chevy engine in it.

August 11 2014 at 4:53 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down

Isn't that what GM installed in their Cadillacs? At any rate, the only thing that I had to do with the Jag engine was to check the fluids, and change the oil.

August 11 2014 at 5:13 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down