General Motors Settles Initial Recall Lawsuit

March 16, 2015

March 16, 2015—Attorneys for the family of Brooke Melton announced Friday that they reached an out-of-court settlement agreement with General Motors, ending a second wrongful death lawsuit in a case that first-exposed the ignition switch defects in GM cars, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Melton, a 29-year-old nurse, was killed in 2010 when her 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt's ignition switch slipped into the accessory position while she was driving, sending it skidding into another vehicle and rolling into a creek. The car's airbags did not deploy in the crash.

Melton's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit, and during the case it came out that GM engineers knew about the ignition switch problem all along. That prompted a slew of recalls at GM, investigations by the government, and ultimately a total of 64 death claims being approved by a compensation fund set up by the automaker.

The family received an undisclosed amount from GM’s $400 million compensation fund. Those who choose to accept money from the fund waive their rights to seek legal action from the automaker.

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