General Motors has settled with the family of Brooke Melton, a 29 year old nurse from Georgia who died due to a defective ignition switch in her 2005 Cobalt. Her parents accepted an undisclosed amount from GM’s compensation fund, in addition to $5 million that GM paid the family to settle a prior lawsuit.
Melton’s death played a pivotal role in triggering widespread ignition switch recalls. In early 2014, after concluding that millions of older vehicles contained faulty switches, GM began launching recalls.
According to Lance Cooper, the family’s attorney:
“The Meltons’ work is done,” . . . the parents, Ken and Beth Melton, were “emotionally exhausted” and felt satisfied that GM acknowledged through a payout from its compensation fund that their daughter’s death was caused by the faulty ignition switch (source: wsj.com).
Several of the victims’ families have received payouts from the GM compensation fund. The fund’s administrator, Kenneth Feinberg, is known for his work with compensation funds setup for BP, 9/11, and the Boston marathon bombing.
While this specific case was resolved, there are several GM ignition switch related class action and state lawsuits slated to begin this upcoming May.
After a contentious hearing on Capitol Hill, the company set aside between $400 and $600 million to payout the claims. To date, GM has reportedly paid out 67 death claims filed against the fund.
To read the full article on The Wall Street Journal website, visit http://www.wsj.com/articles/family-of-gm-ignition-switch-victim-settles-for-more-than-5-million-1426529612.
Written by Lulaine Compere