Judge Upholds Claims Affecting Up To 12 Million Vehicles in High-Profile GM Ignition Switch Trial

Consumer-rights law firm comments on court’s decision

NEW YORK – In a ruling issued today, U.S. District Judge Jesse M. Furman, overseeing the General Motors (NYSE: GM) ignition switch multi-district litigation, upheld claims brought by over 10 million owners of GM-branded vehicles related to a widespread ignition switch defect and series of recalls, according to Hagens Berman.  The firm plans to appeal the Court’s decision on other denied claims.

The decision upholds claims affecting an estimated 12 million vehicles, including those affected by the faulty ignition switch, as well as other defects.  “We are very pleased that Judge Furman has sustained the claims for millions of consumers who bought or leased defective vehicles, and we look forward to continuing our vigorous efforts to recover benefit-of-the-bargain damages for these injured consumers,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman and co-lead counsel representing GM vehicle owners in the suit.

“While we are pleased with the Court’s ruling allowing these claims to go forward, we do not agree with the Court’s dismissal of claims that the series of recalls irrevocably damaged GM’s brand and caused consumers of all GM-branded cars to suffer loss of vehicle value.  GM’s unprecedented recall of more than 27 million vehicles, coupled with revelations that GM had a broken safety culture, caused GM owners—who did nothing wrong—to suffer a massive loss of vehicle value.   For this reason, we plan to appeal,” said Mr. Berman.

Hagens Berman was appointed co-lead counsel representing owners of GM vehicles in the litigation, which arises from a barrage of safety defects and bungled recalls from GM that irrevocably damaged GM’s brand, according to the firm.

One of the safety defects involves the car’s ignition, which according to consumers, can switch off while in operation, disabling airbags and other electrical and safety features such as power steering and power brakes.  According to published reports and government documents, GM had knowledge of the serious defect as early as 2001, but critics charge that the company ignored warnings of the defect’s severity and did not warn consumers.

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About Hagens Berman
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP is a consumer-rights class-action law firm with offices in 10 cities. The firm has been named to the National Law Journal’s Plaintiffs’ Hot List eight times. More about the law firm and its successes can be found at www.hbsslaw.com. Follow the firm for updates and news at @ClassActionLaw.

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