The parents of 29-year-old Brooke Melton filed a lawsuit against General Motors (GM) after their daughter was killed in a 2010 crash. Melton was driving a Chevy Cobalt with an allegedly faulty ignition switch. Her death spurred a series of automobile recalls beginning in early 2014.
GM has tried to have the case dismissed, claiming that it was already settled. However, Cobb County State Court Judge Kathryn J. Tanksley has now decided that the case will not be dismissed, because new evidence and new allegations differentiate the old case from the new case. The trial date is set for April 2016.
GM’s recent bankruptcy has added a unique dimension to this case. In addition, the car manufacturer has failed to turn over certain documentation to the Melton family lawyers. Judge Tanksley ruled that GM must turn over the material requested by September 26.
The recalls started in February, and eventually grew to include 2.59 million cars. Replacements of faulty ignition switches have cost GM millions of dollars so far. Additionally, the automaker faces over 100 lawsuits filed across the United States and Canada, 30 of which claim that deaths and serious injuries happened as a result of the faulty ignition switches.
The Melton family had requested documentation about the recall. When GM did not provide the documents they needed, the Melton family said that they were “fraudulently induced into making the settlement.”
Attorneys for General Motors, on the other hand, say that the assertions in the second case mimic the assertions in the first case. Observers of the trial have all eyes specifically on the fraud allegations.
As wrongful death attorneys in Burke County, it is our hope that there is a fair and just resolution reached so that the Melton family may heal from the tragic loss of their daughter.