GM Settles Faulty Ignition Switch Death Suit That Spurred Millions of Recalls

By Margaret Cronin Fisk | March 13, 2015

General Motors Co. settled a lawsuit over the death of a 29-year-old woman that helped trigger the recall of 2.59 million cars with faulty ignition switches, lawyers for her family said.

Brooke Melton, 29, died in a March 2010 crash when the ignition switch in her 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt failed, causing her to lose control of the car. Her parents settled an initial lawsuit for $5 million, then asked GM to rescind the agreement and filed a second lawsuit last year alleging the automaker concealed the defects in the Cobalt and withheld evidence before the accord was reached.

The new lawsuit was pending in state court in Georgia, split off from multiple claims consolidated before a federal judge in New York. The settlement terms are confidential, Lance Cooper and Jere Beasley, family attorneys, said in a statement today.

Jim Cain, a GM spokesman, confirmed the settlement and declined to comment further.

The Meltons settled the new suit because they had accomplished their goals of bringing the ignition-switch defect and GM’s cover-up to light, Cooper said.

“This is a company that concealed this defect for years,” he said. “They wanted to hold GM accountable.”

The case is Melton v. General Motors LLC, 14A-1197-4, State Court, Cobb County, Georgia (Marietta).

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