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Claim: 57 cents could have saved people's lives

Losing a loved one in a fatal motor vehicle accident can be absolutely devastating. However, the situation can be even more difficult to deal with when there are unanswered questions related to the death. Until family members can get some answers, it can be impossible to find closure and begin to move on.

That is why people in Atlanta and all across the country have been so focused on the apparent defects in millions of vehicles manufactured by General Motors. For years, these vehicles have been involved in catastrophic accidents and many people could not figure out why. However, recent lawsuits against GM could provide some much-needed information and shed some light on years of purported negligence.

Several lawsuits have been filed against GM after more than a dozen victims were killed in fatal accidents caused by a faulty ignition switch in the GM vehicles. The lawsuits claim that vehicles with the defective switch would inadvertently shut off while a car was in motion. With the switch off, many systems in the vehicle would also shut down. This meant that drivers would lose control of their vehicles and were not protected by airbags upon impact, as those were also disabled.

To make matters worse, the lawsuits accuse GM of knowing about the defect for several years and still not taking action to fix the problem or notify their customers. Sadly, fixing the ignition switch would have only cost GM about 57 cents per vehicle.

The price of repairing their mistake proved to be too high for the company, and victims of the numerous car accidents were the ones who ultimately paid for this negligence.

However, the company is now facing several lawsuits for their negligence and as a result of the tragic losses stemming from GM's actions. The company may be required to compensate victims and their family members. While money cannot undo the damage that has been done, it can be an effective means of punishing a negligent party and providing families with the support and closure they need after a devastating loss.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "North St. Louis County woman's death linked to faulty ignition switch on GM vehicles," Stephen Deere, April 2, 2014

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