Welcome!

News Feed Item

Grant & Eisenhofer and National Coalition of Major Trial Firms Bring Class Action against General Motors Over Defective Key System

Suit filed in San Francisco seeks economic recovery for owners and lease-holders of GM cars whose faulty key systems were prone to sudden shut-down, a problem GM concealed for a decade; plaintiffs represented by Grant & Eisenhofer, Baron & Budd, The Coope

SAN FRANCISCO, March 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- As General Motors braces for bruising investigations by Congress and federal regulators over its decade-long failure to correct faulty ignitions switches on several of its major car brands, GM now also faces a private class action filed by a group of GM consumers from nine states seeking economic recovery on behalf of a nationwide class for purchasing and/or leasing vehicles they allege the company knew were defective.

The suit accuses the auto giant of fraudulently concealing material facts regarding the scope and extent of problems with its key system, which have been linked to at least 31 crashes and 13 fatalities nationally.  The company is in the midst of a massive recall involving some 1.6 million vehicles carrying the defective switches.

The suit, filed today in the U.S. District Court for Northern California in San Francisco, contends that GM knew its key system posed an "increase[ed] risk of injury or fatality" as far back as 2001 but failed to take proper steps to correct the defects, which could cause certain Chevrolet, Pontiac, and Saturn cars to shut down without warning while being driven.  In addition to rendering the cars' power steering and brakes inoperable, the ignition failures caused the safety airbags to stop functioning, putting drivers at extreme risk in a collision.  GM has publicly admitted that its keys could inadvertently slip out of the "run" position with the car's engine on.

Today's action was brought by 13 GM customers who bought and leased its cars in a number of states, including California, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, Texas and Vermont.  More plaintiffs are expected to join the suit, which covers a variety of GM cars for model years ranging from 2003-2010 (a full list of the vehicles covered follows below).

The plaintiffs argue that GM was fully aware that the problems extended beyond just the ignition switch mechanism that has been the focus of the recall.  According to their complaint, the company's engineering documents show that the defects also included the placement of the switch in the steering column and a lack of adequate protection from normal, incidental contact by drivers.  "To fully remedy the problem and render the defective vehicles safe and of economic value to their owners again, additional design elements beyond a new ignition switch are needed," the complaint states.

"The fact that GM has, to date, issued a partial recall knowing the insufficiency underscores GM's ongoing fraudulent concealment and misrepresentation of the nature and extent of the defects," the complaint continues.

Separate from ongoing personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits against GM, the latest action is asking the court to compel the company to undertake a full repair and overhaul of the affected key systems so that all defective vehicles can have their value restored.  Consumers are also seeking monetary compensation for the diminished value of their cars.

"It is tremendously disappointing that General Motors, which was bailed out by U.S. consumers during the financial crisis, has been carrying on the most egregious and far-reaching cover-up in automotive history because it didn't want to assume the costs of fixing cars it knew to be dangerously defective," said Adam Levitt, one of the lawyers representing the plaintiffs group.  Mr. Levitt is a director of prominent litigation firm Grant & Eisenhofer, where he heads the firm's Consumer Practice group, and is currently leading its litigation on behalf of Ford Motor customers seeking redress from Ford vehicles that were subject to incidents of sudden, unintended acceleration.

According to the complaint, GM could have placed a simple protective shield around its key system to keep it in place and prevent it from disengaging, thereby disabling the cars.  "We intend to show that despite the option of a straightforward fix, GM chose to dismiss the solution because of the added costs involved in undertaking a voluntary recall," Mr. Levitt said. 

He noted the irony of GM's current advertising campaign, encouraging drivers to "Find New Roads" in their personal journeys.  "We hope GM's ad slogan also refers to the roads of truth and corporate accountability, which this affair reveals have been the roads less traveled by the company for a long time."

In addition to Grant & Eisenhofer, plaintiffs are represented by noted litigation firms Baron & Budd PC of Dallas and The Cooper Firm of Marietta, Georgia.  Cooper's principal partner Lance Cooper is recognized as the attorney who first uncovered GM's key system problem, as well as the company's years-long effort to hide it.

Other major firms comprising the litigation team include Bartimus, Frickleton, Robertson & Goza, P.C.; The DiCello Law Firm; Conley Griggs Partin LLP; Spilman Thomas & Battle PLLC; Bucci Bailey & Javins L.C.; and Siprut P.C. 

Among the lawyers participating in the action are Edward D. "Chip" Robertson, Jr., who served as Chief Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court, along with Sharon L. Potter, a former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia. 

"We have an incredibly strong national trial team, supported by several highly respected experts with extensive experience in large-scale automotive cases," noted Mr. Levitt of Grant & Eisenhofer.  "We also believe we're bringing a set of facts to our complaint that are unique with respect to GM's conduct regarding its defective key system and its subsequent cover-up."

The lawsuit, which is seeking class action status, covers owners and lease-holders of the following GM vehicles – dates indicate model years:  Chevrolet Cobalt (2005-2010); Chevrolet HHR (2006-07); Pontiac Solstice (2006-07); Pontiac G5 (2005-07); Saturn Ion (2003-07); and Saturn Sky (2007).

Grant & Eisenhofer, P.A. (www.gelaw.com)

Grant & Eisenhofer represents plaintiffs in a wide range of complex financial litigation. G&E's clients include institutional investors, whistleblowers and other stakeholders in bankruptcy litigation, securities class actions, derivative lawsuits, consumer class actions, antitrust suits, and cases involving the False Claims Act. G&E has recovered more than $13 billion for its clients and class members in the last five years alone and has consistently been cited by RiskMetrics for securing the highest average investor recovery in securities class actions. G&E has been named one of the country's top plaintiffs' law firms by The National Law Journal for the past 10 years.

From:  Allan Ripp 212-262-7477 [email protected] 
          Elise Martin 302-622-7004 [email protected]

SOURCE Grant & Eisenhofer, P.A.

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
Cloud promises the agility required by today’s digital businesses. As organizations adopt cloud based infrastructures and services, their IT resources become increasingly dynamic and hybrid in nature. Managing these require modern IT operations and tools. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Raj Sundaram, Senior Principal Product Manager at CA Technologies, will discuss how to modernize your IT operations in order to proactively manage your hybrid cloud and IT environments. He will be sharing bes...
A look across the tech landscape at the disruptive technologies that are increasing in prominence and speculate as to which will be most impactful for communications – namely, AI and Cloud Computing. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Curtis Peterson, VP of Operations at RingCentral, highlighted the current challenges of these transformative technologies and shared strategies for preparing your organization for these changes. This “view from the top” outlined the latest trends and developments i...
Automation is enabling enterprises to design, deploy, and manage more complex, hybrid cloud environments. Yet the people who manage these environments must be trained in and understanding these environments better than ever before. A new era of analytics and cognitive computing is adding intelligence, but also more complexity, to these cloud environments. How smart is your cloud? How smart should it be? In this power panel at 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, paneli...
Hardware virtualization and cloud computing allowed us to increase resource utilization and increase our flexibility to respond to business demand. Docker Containers are the next quantum leap - Are they?! Databases always represented an additional set of challenges unique to running workloads requiring a maximum of I/O, network, CPU resources combined with data locality.
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business...
SYS-CON Events announced today that GrapeUp, the leading provider of rapid product development at the speed of business, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market acr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ayehu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara California. Ayehu provides IT Process Automation & Orchestration solutions for IT and Security professionals to identify and resolve critical incidents and enable rapid containment, eradication, and recovery from cyber security breaches. Ayehu provides customers greater control over IT infras...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datanami has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datanami is a communication channel dedicated to providing insight, analysis and up-to-the-minute information about emerging trends and solutions in Big Data. The publication sheds light on all cutting-edge technologies including networking, storage and applications, and the...
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, neural networks. We’re in the midst of a wave of excitement around AI such as hasn’t been seen for a few decades. But those previous periods of inflated expectations led to troughs of disappointment. Will this time be different? Most likely. Applications of AI such as predictive analytics are already decreasing costs and improving reliability of industrial machinery. Furthermore, the funding and research going into AI now comes from a wide range of com...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EnterpriseTech has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. EnterpriseTech is a professional resource for news and intelligence covering the migration of high-end technologies into the enterprise and business-IT industry, with a special focus on high-tech solutions in new product development, workload management, increased effi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SourceForge has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SourceForge is the largest, most trusted destination for Open Source Software development, collaboration, discovery and download on the web serving over 32 million viewers, 150 million downloads and over 460,000 active development projects each and every month.
In this presentation, Striim CTO and founder Steve Wilkes will discuss practical strategies for counteracting fraud and cyberattacks by leveraging real-time streaming analytics. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Steve Wilkes, Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Striim, will provide a detailed look into leveraging streaming data management to correlate events in real time, and identify potential breaches across IoT and non-IoT systems throughout the enterprise. Strategies for processing massive ...
"Our strategy is to focus on the hyperscale providers - AWS, Azure, and Google. Over the last year we saw that a lot of developers need to learn how to do their job in the cloud and we see this DevOps movement that we are catering to with our content," stated Alessandro Fasan, Head of Global Sales at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We focus on composable infrastructure. Composable infrastructure has been named by companies like Gartner as the evolution of the IT infrastructure where everything is now driven by software," explained Bruno Andrade, CEO and Founder of HTBase, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organi...