Law Student Dies in Car Crash Three Days after Recall Notice from GM
The New York Times recently reported on the tragic death of a third-year law student three days after she received the official recall notice for her 2006 GM Saturn. It was the third recall for the car.The latest notice was for a defective ignition switch that could shut off the engine and disable the brakes, power steering, and air bags.
Laura Gass, 27, was killed when her car crashed into a tractor-trailer while she was on her way to work.The state police blamed icy road conditions for the accident. But, presumably because her death followed the recall notice, the lawyer managing GM’s victim compensation program made a settlement offer to her family. Gass’s death is the first one known to have occurred after GM disclosed the ignition defect and announced its recall of 2.6 million vehicles.
Including Gass, at least 21 people may have died because of the defect.Settlements in the first 15 cases are expected to exceed $70 million.Claims for an additional 120 deaths and 500 injuries are pending.Claims must be filed by December 31, according to GM. GM insisted that its cars were safe to drive if drivers removed all objects from their key chains.Gass’s father told her to do so, but it’s not clear if she did before her accident. Months after the recall notice in March, thousands of GM cars have not yet been repaired.They remain on the roads, potentially creating a hazard for drivers, passengers, and others.
The GM ignition defect recall is just one of many recent safety recalls.For example, more than 14 million cars made by 11 companies were recalled due to defective airbags made by one company.To learn if your own car has one of the potentially defective airbags.
If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident, or if a family member has been injured or killed in a car accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney at the New Jersey Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Hasson, P.C. for help.