A judge recently denied GM’s motion to dismiss a new lawsuit filed by the family of Brooke Melton, a woman from Georgia that died due to a faulty ignition switch in 2010.
Melton died when the ignition switch in her 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt slipped into accessory mode and the car collided with another vehicle. Melton’s parents, Ken and Beth Melton, sued the company before in 2011 and settled for $5M in 2013. Information that was revealed by the case led to the recall of 2.6 million GM vehicles, which included the Cobalt, and initiated federal investigations to determine whether or not GM had knowledge of the problem.
When GM refused the Melton’s request to withdraw the settlement, they filed suit again in May and claimed that the company had concealed crucial evidence regarding the switch, and that a GM engineer lied under oath about the faulty part. GM argued that the case should be dismissed because the Melton’s claim was already settle, but Judge Tanksley said the case could continue.
Lance Cooper, the Melton’s lawyer, said, “”This will allow the Meltons to finally get the answers to their questions of who at GM knew about the defects in Brooke’s car, why she was never told about the design change with the ignition switch and who participated in the decision to conceal evidence during their previous case.”
GM has fielded dozens of lawsuits after making several ignition-switch-based recalls earlier this year. Many claims have been based on fatalities and injuries due to the faulty ignition switch, in addition to claims that their cars lost value due to the malfunctioning part.