More than 600 victims of crashes involving General Motors vehicles have filed a lawsuit against the automaker seeking compensation. The majority of those involved in the suit say they are ineligible for the GM settlement fund that was established to compensate GM ignition recall victims, according to a new CNN article.
About the GM Lawsuit
The lawsuit, which was filed by attorney Robert Hilliard, includes over 600 plaintiffs, including the families of 29 people killed in crashes involving faulty ignition switches. In June, GM released details of a GM fund that would be used to compensate victims who were injured or killed in accidents involving 2.6 million with defective ignition switches. However, the plaintiffs in the recently filed suit aren’t eligible for that plan because their vehicle was part of a later ignition switch recall and not the earlier one.
“This makes absolutely no sense that the fund is restricted to the first 2.6 million vehicles initially recalled for ignition switch issues,” said Hilliard. “GM needs to step up and acknowledge the blood on its hands from all of these recalled cars.”
The lawsuit includes victims who were involved in crashes that happened after GM emerged from bankruptcy restructuring in 2009; however, Hilliard has more than 200 additional plaintiffs involved in pre-2009 crashes he says he will seek to add to the suit.
Also part of the lawsuit are some victims who are eligible for the GM settlement fund but feel that the protocol outlined won’t give them fair compensation.
GM Settlement Fund
The GM fund is set to begin accepting claims on Aug. 1 for eligible victims. GM hired victims’ compensation specialist attorney Ken Feinberg to create the program amid pressure from lawmakers and victims to compensate the potentially hundreds of victims. One estimate released by GM in its quarterly filing estimates the total payout from the fund to be about $400 million, although the company has set no cap to the fund itself nor individual payments.
Thomas J. Henry Fights for GM Recall Victims
Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys is representing more than 1,000 GM recall victims across the United States and has been investigating injuries and deaths linked to the recall since day one. The firm launched a nationwide media investigation into the recall in April, which brought forth thousands of affected individuals who had information critical to the investigation – information that the firm has handed over to federal agencies also investigating GM’s sluggish response the recall. As more and more individuals have flocked to Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys for representation, the firm has continued to push GM for a victim settlement fund. The firm has had several talks with GM’s victim compensation expert Ken Feinberg regarding appropriate victim compensation for the thousands affected by a fatal design flaw in ignition switches which left numerous dead and countless others seriously injured.
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About the FSU Fatal Construction Accident
At 12:01 p.m. FSUPD received a call alerting them to a serious injury at the site of a new residence hall under construction on campus on Woodward Avenue. Authorities found Travis Joseph Miller, 25, dead at the scene upon their arrival. Miller was killed after he became trapped between a construction elevator and the building. Reports say he was working for Miller Plumbing as a subcontractor.
FSUPD says the investigation is being pursued as a non-criminal death and an autopsy is scheduled to be performed today.
Construction Accident Statistics
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports a total of 4,628 workplace fatalities in 2012, a vast majority of which (4,175) occurred in private industry. In the private sector, OSHA reports about 806 (19.3 percent) of fatalities occurred in construction.
The four most common causes of construction worker death are:
- Falls (34.6 percent)
- Struck by object (9.8 percent)
- Electrocutions (8.1 percent)
- Caught-in/between (1.6 percent)
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About the Falls County Fatal Accident
The crash occurred at approximately 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday on Highway 7, about five miles west of Kosse, Texas. A 2003 Dodge pickup truck with four occupants appears to have driven off the right side of the road for unknown reasons. The driver of the vehicle overcorrected before driving into a ditch on the opposite side of the road before striking a tree.
Two people were killed in the crash. The victims have been identified as John Patrick Stewart and Laura Onwudinati. Two other vehicle occupants were injured in the crash. WFAA says Jacob Travis Hale, the driver of the vehicle, is in fair condition. Taylor Ritzi was transported to Baylor Scott & White Hospital in Temple, Texas where she is listed in very critical condition.
Baylor University has identified all four involved in the crash as having ties to the university. The group was traveling to Baton Rouge, Louis. to attend ClarinetFest when the crash happened.
Texas Car Accident Statistics
According to statistics provided by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), in 2013:
- Single-vehicle, run-off the road crashes resulted in 1,333 fatalities. Those deaths accounted for 39.47 percent of all traffic fatalities in Texas that year.
- A total of 3,377 deaths occurred as a result of traffic accidents in Texas.
- 232,041 persons sustained injuries in traffic crashes in Texas; 89,270 of those injuries were considered serious.
- No deathless days occurred on Texas roadways in 2013.
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