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GM, Chrysler Bankruptcy Plans Unfair to Accident Victims

Posted By Regan Zambri & Long || 4-Jun-2009

Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, Esquire and Catherine Bertram, Esquire

The Hill reports that "Consumer groups and trial lawyers are crying foul over the Obama administration’s bankruptcy plans for General Motors and Chrysler" because "those plans would extinguish all ongoing auto accident claims that blame a death or serious injury on a defective GM or Chrysler vehicle."  According to the report, Clarence Dilow, the executive director of the Center for Auto Safety, admits that "the plans are unusual in that they would prevent anyone from bringing a future liability claim against GM or Chrysler if a car already purchased from either company is defective and results in an accident causing death or serious injury."  Mr. Dilow further stated that "it was…unusual for no money to be set aside for liability claims."

A New York Times blogger writes, "In approving the sale of most of Chrysler’s assets to a new company, run by Fiat, over the weekend, Judge Arthur J. Gonzalez also granted the automaker’s request that the new company not be held liable for future product-liability problems involving current owners" which "means people who own a Chrysler, Dodge or Jeep have lost their right to sue if they are injured by a safety defect."  The article goes on to note that consumer groups are rightly concerned that "people who already have been injured in accidents and have filed suits against Chrysler, asserting that a vehicle had a safety defect" will not get any money from the carmaker even if they "win in court."

We believe that it is unfair and un-American to immunize these, or any, car-manufacturers from claims when they have carelessly caused serious injuries to innocent victims.  The protections envisioned by the bankruptcy plans would prohibit motorists from bringing suits against the manufacturers when injured as a result of defective braking systems, ill-designed roof-systems, and other product defects.

Our firm has experience pursuing cases for adults and children that involve tragic product defects.  If you think you or your child has been injured by a defective product, we encourage you to read a portion of a book regarding products liability authored by senior partner Salvatore Zambri.

For information about your legal rights, please click here or contact us at Regan Zambri & Long, PLLC at 202-759-6699.

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