October 21st, 2014 – Houston, TX: A lawsuit was filed on Tuesday morning against General Motors on behalf of a Louisiana women who’s mother was killed while driving her General Motors vehicle. On June 13, 2013 wreck, Amy Smith’s, mother, Linda Hilbert, was driving her 2007 Chevrolet HHR when left the roadway and rolled over several time before coming to rest on its side. The vehicle suffered severe damage to the left front side and damage to the roof. Despite being properly belted in the driver’s seat, Linda Hilbert was pronounced dead at the scene by the Coroner of Tangipahopa Parish. The lawsuit alleges the Chevy Cobalt’s ignition switch defect caused loss of control of the vehicle and caused the fatal crash that took this woman’s life.
General Motors has previously acknowledged that the ignition switch defect caused 23 accidents where fatalities have occurred. In 2014 General Motors has recalled nearly 17 million cars and trucks for ignition switch safety issues. General Motors admitted to knowing about defects to ignition switch for at least a decade prior to recalling the vehicles in February of 2014. The switch can unexpectedly slip out of the "run" position, shutting the engine down and knocking out power-assisted steering and power brakes, while disabling the air bags. The replacement part for the faulty ignition switch would have cost General Motors only 57 cents per part.
“GM’s conduct in keeping its decades long secret about the ignition switch failure is reprehensible”, says Robert Schwartz, lead GM attorney for Brent Coon & Associates. “Their actions put millions of innocent and unsuspecting people at risk of serious injuries and death. We believe GM has severely understated the number serious injuries and deaths caused by this defect. Brent Coon and Associates will hold GM accountable for their clients’ serious injuries and deaths.”
Brent Coon is no stranger to going to court against large corporations. In 2005 he served as Lead Counsel in the litigation against British Petroleum following the 2005 Texas City Plant Explosion that killed 15 workers and injured hundreds of others. Brent Coon’s work uncovered over seven million internal BP documents which exposed BP's internal corporate culture of profits over people. This resulted in a number of media and governmental investigations and Coon was able to assist the Department of Justice in successfully prosecuting felony charges against BP. Coon was featured in hundreds of news stories ranging from 60 Minutes to BBC and testified before Congress and the Texas Legislature.
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