A lawsuit was filed in Lincoln County against General Motors on behalf of a Missouri man who’s daughter was permanently injured and disabled in her General Motors vehicle. According to her father, Kayla Marler was "a teen age girl with the dangly key chain". Kayla was 16 years old at the time of the accident.. The police said at the time that they had no idea why the car went out of control.
When the Marlers received the call that Kayla had been in an accident and was in the hospital, the doctors did not give them much hope for her recovery at all. The right side of her head was smashed, and glass was in her head, hair and face. It was a devastating time. Though Kayla survived, after six years, she remains under constant care. Before the accident, she was outgoing, athletic, very popular, and an “A” student. She is now 22 and will never lead a normal life. She is not able to walk on her own, her speech is impaired and she has the functional educational level of a 4 year old. Kayla has to have help with everything she does. She is currently on disability and her mother is her care giver. Even though Kayla was allowed to graduate from HS she is permanently brain damaged, cannot walk any distance on her own, and her parents will have to care for her for life. Her once bright future has been permanently altered.
In part of his message to the media Mr. Marler, stated: "She will never have a normal life. She will never be married, never have children and her problems will never go away.”
Mr. Marler asks, "If GM knew about the ignition switch problems and did nothing, which we know they did, why did a teenager’s “dangly key chain” cause one young life to be shattered, a friend killed and a family affected with such pain and grief?"
General Motors had previously claimed that only 13 deaths have occurred due to faulty ignition switches, despite reports that list fatalities in the hundreds. And while it has recently amended that number to 19, so far 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.
Brent Coon of the national law firm of Brent Coon & Associates, lead GM attorney for Mr. Marler, states that "BCA already has dozens more cases of death and critical injury caused by GM's negligence and greed. We are very disappointed that GM would put profits over people knowing that these tragic results were likely to occur, especially after all the tax payer’s money spent bailing them out. They were simultaneously cranking out products that they knew were going to kill those same tax payers.
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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