General Motors Compensation Program

General Motors has decided to settle out of court with the family of a man who was killed in a car accident. The family had blamed a faulty ignition switch for the accident. The settlement will go to the man's wife, and he also leaves behind five children, though reports did not indicate the ages of his children.

Settling After a Win

It's interesting that GM decided to settle this case, as they just won another case and saw yet another thrown out. In the case that was tossed out, the testimony was said to be misleading, so there was no verdict. In the case that did reach a verdict, the jury found that the ignition switch didn't work properly, but they also concluded that the switch did not cause the cars to crash or lead directly to the injuries suffered.

It's worth noting that GM has been up front about the ignition switch issues, saying that the company was aware for some time that there was a problem and did nothing. The switches in question can easily slip out of the housings, which can cause a car to stall. This is doubly dangerous because it can turn off the steering system, brakes and air bags. Therefore, if the car stalls at 70 miles an hour, for instance, those inside are more likely to be injured or killed when they can't steer, can't stop, and don't have airbags when they crash.

Few Details

Since the case was settled out of court, GM did not have to say why it chose to go this route, so there are few details about the case. Additionally, GM did not tell what the amount of the settlement was, and neither did the woman who will get it.

Many Cases

By no means is this the end of the road for GM as far as these cases are concerned. About $2 billion has already been paid, both in penalties and in settlements, and there are still 235 more cases to go. It will take a long time to sort through it all, and it's crucial for those who were injured or who lost loved ones in deadly accidents to know their legal rights.

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