The number of General Motors automobiles recalled due to defective ignition
switches has risen to over 28 Million. Just as amazing are the reports
that GM knew about the problem with the switches for over a decade. As a
products liability attorney, that doesn't surprise me. Time and time again, I have seen companies
bury their heads in the sand when they believe there might be a safety
risk with one of their products. Sometimes they cover it up and hope that
it never comes to light.
As much as it costs to design and test products, it costs even more to
go back to the drawing board and make modifications to eliminate hazards.
Think about the fact that it usually takes five years or more for a new
model car to go from a sketch pad to the assembly line.
Although evidence that a manufacturer knew about a defect is helpful when
it comes to making a claim for personal injury or wrongful death, in Florida,
it is not necessary. Under Florida law, a claimant need only prove that
the product was defective or unreasonably dangerous. This is referred
to as "strict liability". In other words, It does not matter
whether or not the company was negligent (i.e., that they knew or should
have known that the product was defective). Even if a manufacturer legitimately
had no idea that their product was unreasonably dangerous, they are still
held "strictly liable" for someone's injuries or death (and
for any property damage).
"Strict Liability" also applies to distributors and sellers of
the product. Therefore, in the case of injuries or death caused by a defective
GM ignition switch, the dealership who sold the vehicle could also be liable.
Injury victims of the GM ignition switch defect should also be aware that
the company has set up a compensation fund. Those who fit certain criteria
can apply to receive money from the fund in lieu of litigation. Anyone
who believes that they may have been injured by a GM defective ignition
switch should contact a qualified attorney immediately to discuss their options.
If you have any questions about this topic, feel free to contact our
Miami injury attorneys by calling 888.395.9255 or filling out a
free case evaluation form.