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GM may pay billions in automobile defects claims cases

Numerous individuals in South Carolina may remember or have personally been affected by the issues caused by faulty ignition switches in some GM model cars. Unfortunately, multiple people were injured or killed in collisions related to this defect. Sadly, though, many of those negatively affected were unable to seek compensation, as their automobile defects claims cases were blocked due to GM's bankruptcy filing.

In 2009, GM was able to complete a bankruptcy filing in record time -- only 40 days. The type of bankruptcy filed allowed the company to restructure itself and form a new company, now known as New GM. Due to the protections offered in such a bankruptcy, the new company could not be held financial liable for any legal liabilities faced by old GM.

The issue with faulty ignition switches is one that came about before the bankruptcy filing was complete. Over 1,000 personal injury and wrongful death claims were filed against the company, but those claims were blocked after the bankruptcy was approved. However, a federal appeals court recently ruled that GM failed to inform the bankruptcy court of the known defect, and because of this, the new company can be held financially liable. This has opened GM to billions of dollars in legal claims.

South Carolina residents who have been injured or lost loved ones as a result of automobile defects, such as the GM faulty ignition switches issue, may seek compensation for their losses. Personal injury, wrongful death and any other appropriate legal claims may be filed against manufacturers and others in the supply chain in an effort to seek monetary damages. Through successful litigation or out-of-court negotiations, maximum compensation may be achieved.

Source: njherald.com, "Court ruling opens GM to billions in death, injury claims", Tom Krisher, July 13, 2016

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