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A Second Round of Congressional Hearings Likely For General Motors

Tina Robinson2 years ago

The results of a long-awaited report from former U.S. Anton Valukas into the General Motors ignition switch scandal have finally been released. As members of Congress review his findings, both the House and Senate have confirmed that GM officials will be called back for a second round of hearings, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Initial Findings “Deeply Disturbing”

Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Fred Upton (R-Mich.) described the initial findings of the Valukas report “deeply disturbing.” Upton spoke with GM CEO Mary Barra before an employee town hall meeting and press conference to announce the findings of the 300-plus-page report.

Upton also confirmed that the committee will hold a second hearing in the upcoming weeks and expects both Barra and Valukas to testify. Barra testified before the committee in April where she repeatedly deferred to the ongoing investigation.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, Chairwoman of the Senate consumer protection subcommittee, also confirmed additional hearings to be held later this summer. “I won’t be letting GM leadership, or federal regulators, escape accountability for these tragedies,” said McCaskill. “That’s why I’ll be holding a follow-up hearing later this summer to address unanswered questions. The families of those affected deserve no less.”

Employees Fired, Victims to be Compensated

The big news from GM today was that 15 employees had been fired in connection to the ignition switch recall. Barra announced the disciplinary action before a group of GM employees and subsequent press conference saying the employees were either incompetent or irresponsible. Five additional employees will also receive unspecified disciplinary action for failing to act.

Victims of the ignition switch defect also received good news when Barra and GM president Dan Amman confirmed that plans for a GM compensation fund would be announced shortly. Although GM still maintains only 13 deaths linked to the faulty switches, Amman said that more than just those 13 would be compensated. Who would receive compensation and how much, Amman said, would be left up to attorney Ken Feinberg. Feinberg was hired by GM in April to develop a plan to compensate victims. His recommendations are due later this month, and Amman said victims could receive compensation as soon as Aug. 1.

Thomas J. Henry Representing More than 1,000 GM Recall Victims

Thomas J. Henry 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 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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