According to an internal General Motors (GM) investigation conducted by
Anton Valukas, the company’s top lawyer, Michael Millikin, never
learned about the defective ignition switch issue until shortly before
the first recall was initiated in February. His lack of awareness becomes
even more alarming due to the fact that GM had already paid as much as
$5 million to settle a
defective auto lawsuit associated with this problem.
The Valukas report illustrates a pattern of dysfunction among GM corporate
policies, including one that allows other associates of the company legal
team to approve settlements of up to $5 million without the approval of
Mr. Milllikin. In addition, the Valukas report indicates that members
of the GM legal team played an integral role in delaying the recall of
a 10-year-old safety issue until this past February in order to minimize
the company’s liability in
defective product lawsuits.
In general, the findings released in this report demonstrate an overall
disregard for customer safety in order to reduce GM’s exposure to
expensive lawsuits. Simply put, this is unacceptable.
Currently, GM is facing more than 80 lawsuits associated with the ignition
switch defects responsible for the recall of millions of vehicles earlier
this year. While many of these lawsuits are seeking damages for repair
costs and diminished resale value of vehicles, several of these cases
are in relation to serious injuries and fatalities from
car accidents caused by the ignition switch defect.
The attorneys at Golomb & Honik are outraged at the gross disregard
for public safety demonstrated by GM’s handling of this incident.
Our attorneys have been fighting for the rights of injured victims for
more than three decades. If you have a claim against GM regarding a vehicle
containing a defective ignition switch, we can help you recover the compensation