Candice Anderson, 21, the driver of the Saturn Ion, was
negotiating a curve in the road in Texas when the car went off the
road and hit a tree.
Anderson suffered multiple injuries while her co-passenger and
boyfriend, Mikale Erickson, 25, died.
Erickson's family and Anderson sued the company in U.S. District
Court for the Eastern District of Texas on Monday alleging the that
the automaker "watched silently" as Anderson was indicted and
prosecuted for a felony offense, despite knowing all along that the
defective vehicle was at fault.
"GM placed 100 percent of the blame on a 21-year-old innocent girl
and ended up paying $75,000 to settle the entire case," attorney
Robert Hilliard of law firm Hilliard Munoz Gonzales, representing
Erickson's family and Anderson, said in a statement.
This year GM has recalled 2.6 million older model cars, including
Chevy Cobalts and Saturn Ions, to replace defective switches that
can cause engines to shut off while driving, leading to a sudden
loss of power steering, power brakes and failure of air bags to
deploy in a crash.
Last week the company dismissed 15 employees, including several
high-ranking executives, for their roles in matters relating to
faulty ignition switches in older GM cars.
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General Motors declined to comment.
The law firm is also representing the families of Amy Radermaker,
Seyde Chansuthus and Amber Marie Rose, victims in other accidents
linked to faulty GM ignition switches.
The case is Anderson v. General Motors, U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of Texas, No. 14-538.
(Reporting by Jessica Dye in New York and Ankit Ajmera and Tanvi
Mehta in Bangalore; Editing by Eric Walsh)
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