General Motors Wins Fourth Bellwether Lawsuit, Two More Awaits For Disposal

By Staff Writer

Apr 13, 2016 06:40 AM EDT

General Motors Company (GM) has finally started winning lawsuits concerning safety measures due to faulty ignition switches. The Detroit based automaker has won the fourth bellwether lawsuit on Friday following two years of legal and financial consequences.

The largest automobile manufacturer in the US has prevailed in three injury lawsuits so far, including the Friday's dismissal. The third case involving a fatal accident, popularly known as Yingling case, has been settled last week prior to initiation of trial. GM has been facing litigation to resolve hundreds of remaining claims related to the recalling of 2.6 million small cars with faulty ignition switches, reports The New York Times.

The second trial for a 2014 car accident has ended in GM's favor following verdict for no compensation by the jurors during the end of March. However, the jurors observe that GM has failed to warn the public about the safety risks involved in the switches while pronouncing the verdict. The first trial has been dismissed abruptly in January following allegations of misleading testimony by the complainant, reports InAutoNews.

Following dismissal of the fourth out of six lawsuits, stock of GM has been witnessed to rise by 1.12% to $29.69 in a mid-afternoon trading on Monday. The six cases, selected as bellwethers from hundreds of lawsuits blaming the ignition switches for injuries or deaths. The switch may cause engines to stall while cutting power to brake, steering and air bag systems, according to a report published in TheStreet.

GM has been methodically marching towards compensating victims, paying penalties and resolve claims originating from its admission in 2014. GM has admitted that its employees remain aware of the faulty ignitions with possible tragic results for a decade. The company has already spent more than $2 billion in settling cases including 124 death events while paying fines to the Justice and Transportation Departments.

Though facing litigation over the faulty switches, GM has never defended itself in a public court in a death case. The company has reached a confidential settlement in a Georgia case ahead of the trial during last year.

Unlike Georgia case, GM hasn't commented on reason for settling Yingling case. Even the company has revealed nothing about the two remaining injury cases left on the docket in the bellwether process. The two lawsuits are expected to wrap up by the end of this year.

GM has been facing lawsuits centering faulty ignition switches since 2014. So far the auto-manufacturer has spent more than $2 billion in compensation against deaths or injuries. Out of the six bellwether cases, GM has won the fourth lawsuit in its favor while the remaining two suits are expected to wrap up by this year.  

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