Jury: GM’s Faulty Ignition Switch was Not Cause of Crash
A New York jury recently reached a verdict in favor of GM Motors in a products liability lawsuit, finding that the defective ignition switch manufactured by the defendant was not to blame for a 2014 accident that injured the plaintiffs.
The plaintiffs alleged that the bad and faulty ignition switch in their 2007 Saturn Sky was the direct result of the accident. GM Motors was the manufacturer of the 2007 Saturn Sky that the plaintiffs were driving at the time of the crash and GM Motors had already recalled the faulty ignition switch on all affected GM vehicles prior to the crash.
After deliberation, the jury came to the conclusion that although the ignition switch in the plaintiff’s vehicle was unreasonably dangerous, the faulty switch was not the cause of the accident. Based on the jury’s decision, the plaintiffs were not able to collect damages to compensate them for the injuries in which they suffered in the 2014 crash.
What Was Required For the Plaintiffs to Recover?
Many would question the jury’s decision, wondering why the plaintiffs could not recover for their injuries even after the jury determined the ignition switch on the plaintiff’s 2007 Saturn Sky involved in the 2014 crash was found to be faulty. In a product liability claim, a plaintiff may receive financial compensation for his or her injuries if the plaintiffs are able to prove that:
- The product was defective in some way (design, manufacturing, marketing)
- The plaintiff suffered an injury
- The plaintiff’s injury was a direct result of the product defect
In the plaintiffs’ lawsuit against GM, the plaintiffs were successful in proving two of the three above elements. First, the plaintiffs were able to prove that the ignition switch manufactured by GM was defective since the product was already recalled and it was determined that the switch was made unreasonably dangerous. Second, the plaintiffs did suffer an injury from the 2014 accident.
However, the plaintiffs failed to prove that their injuries were a direct result of the faulty ignition switch. In order for the plaintiff to be able to recover damages in the product liability claim brought against GM Motors, the plaintiffs were required to show that the faulty ignition switch directly caused the accident. The jury in this case determined that slippery roadways caused the crash and it had nothing to do with the car’s ignition switch.
What Does the Jury’s Decision Mean for Plaintiffs and For GM?
In this case, since the plaintiff’s were unable to prove that the faulty ignition switch was the cause of their injuries, no damages would be awarded to the plaintiffs. For GM, they would not need to compensate the plaintiff’s any money damages in this case. However, GM needs to fix the problem quickly to avoid any future accidents and injuries that could be caused by the defective ignition switch.