General Motors Co. admitted to criminal wrongdoing and agreed to pay a $900 million penalty to settle a U.S. criminal probe over its ignition switch defect, which has been linked to 124 deaths and thousands of injuries.
Langdon & Emison is proceeding with a series of lawsuits in a Missouri state court on behalf of clients who were in accidents caused by the faulty ignition switches that turn to the “off” position while the vehicle is in motion, resulting in a loss of power to the brakes, steering and airbags.
GM admitted to failing to disclose the defect to federal safety regulators and to misleading consumers about the safety of affected vehicles.
In the settlement, the Department of Justice agreed to defer prosecution of the automaker for three years. During that time, GM must hire an independent monitor to oversee its safety practices, including its ability to fix defects and handle recalls. The criminal charges will be dropped if GM adheres to its obligations under the agreement, according to Automotive News.
“It is never good for a company to be investigated by the Justice Department, and GM’s payment of nearly $1 billion indicates there was enough evidence for GM to need to resolve the criminal investigation,” said Adam Graves, co-lead counsel on Langdon & Emison’s GM cases.
In a separate agreement, GM announced it would pay an additional $575 million charge to settle hundreds of civil lawsuits stemming from faulty small-car ignition switches. The deal settles 1,385 death and injury cases caused by the switches as well as a 2014 class-action lawsuit filed by shareholders claiming that GM’s actions reduced the value of their stock, according to ABC News.
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For more than 30 years, Langdon & Emison has represented people who have been seriously injured or who have lost loved ones due to a defective product or the negligence of another party. To work with us or for a free case evaluation, contact our firm at 800-397-4910 or click here.