Punitive Damages Can Be Sought in GM Ignition Recall Lawsuits

General Motors Co. (GM) is facing a large number of lawsuits in connection to millions of vehicles the company recalled after a problem with the ignition switch was discovered. Records show the switch can turn to the “off” position while the vehicle is in motion, causing the driver to lose control and crash.

A majority of these GM ignition recall lawsuits have been filed seeking compensatory damages to cover the expenses a victim incurred as a result of their accident, such as medical bills, property damage, or lost wages. However, these aren’t the only damages the victims may be able to go after.

According to an article from Business Insurance, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Gerber ruled in November that GM might be held liable for punitive damages as well. This is compensation that is offered to the victims as a means to not only punish a responsible party for their negligent actions, but to also deter from the action occurring again.

There is an exception to the ruling. Gerber stated punitive damages can only be sought against GM if the claims are based on “knowledge or conduct” the current GM team had or engaged in regarding the ignition switch problem.

Holding businesses accountable for the proper functioning of products they release is important to each member of the legal team at Rainwater, Holt & Sexton. That’s why our Arkansas defective product lawyers applaud the latest ruling regarding the GM ignition recall lawsuits and hope a decision in the cases the ruling affects will bring peace and closure to each of the victims.

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