A faulty GM ignition switch had nothing to do with a 2014 car crash in Louisiana. That’s the verdict handed down this week by a Manhattan federal jury in the automaker’s second trial involving defective ignition switches hid by the company for years.
Wednesday, jurors awarded no damages to woman who says a faulty ignition switch caused her 2007 Saturn to crash on a bridge during an ice storm. She and a person in the car with her were suing for injuries in the minor crash. But in the end, jurors found ice caused the crash, not a problem with the ignition switch.
“The jurors studied the merits of the case and saw the truth: This was a very minor accident that had absolutely nothing to do with the car’s ignition switch,” GM said in a statement.
The case is important since it’s the second of six bellwether cases that could impact hundreds of other cases.
Despite the financial win for GM, jurors didn’t let the automaker off the hook entirely. They say the Saturn was “unreasonably dangerous” as a result of the defect (even though, again, they found it had nothing to do with the accident.) The jurors said unanimously that her car deviated from the company’s performance standards and that GM failed to use reasonable care to adequately warn consumers of that danger. GM argued there was no proof the Saturn’s ignition’s switch was bad.
According to Bloomberg, Randall Jackson, the lead lawyer for the plaintiff, said his team was “pleased that the jury agreed that we proved that our client’s vehicle was defective, that it was unreasonably dangerous, and that GM failed to use reasonable care to provide an adequate warning of that danger to consumers, including our clients.”
Earlier in the trial, U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman dismissed the plaintiff’s claim that GM made false or misleading statements about the defect in its cars saying Dionne Spain didn’t provide enough evidence to prove it.
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