A woman who plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter in Pennsylvania had her conviction overturned by a judge in August 2015. It was determined that the September 2010 crash was caused by a faulty ignition switch that put the car into an accessory position. This resulted in power being cut from the brakes and steering wheel, and the airbags failed to deploy at the time of the accident.
As a result, a 16-year-old passenger in the women's Chevy Cobalt was killed instantly. She spent three months in jail, and her lawyers are asking for an actual finding of innocence in her case. Despite the defect's role in the accident and others like it, GM did not acknowledge the problem until February 2014. At that time, 2.6 million cars were recalled for having faulty ignition switches.
Although the judge has overturned her conviction in the case, prosecutors are appealing the ruling. Furthermore, the ruling did not state who or what was at fault for the accident. Although the woman has received an undisclosed settlement from a GM compensation fund, she says that she has had trouble finding work after spending time in jail. General Motors expects to pay no more than $625 million as a result of problems related to the faulty ignition switches.
Those who have been injured in car accidents may wish to talk to an attorney. It may be possible to receive compensation for medical bills and other costs related to the crash. If a defective vehicle contributed to an accident, the driver of that vehicle may also be entitled to compensation. An attorney may be able to review the facts in the case to determine how to proceed and to ensure that the case is filed before any relevant statutes of limitation expire.