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Product Liability Attorney Boca Raton – Bankruptcy & Liability

One of the earliest references to bankruptcy can be found in the Old Testament. Moses mentions a “Jubilee” year that would take place every half century in which all debts would be eliminated. In it’s beginnings and with the aim of helping those who were facing insurmountable financial odds, I doubt that Moses could have realized the implications that such a concept might have on the modern world of technology.

Flash forward to 2006. 17-year-old Megan Phillips is traveling down a Wisconsin road with two friends when the ignition switch of her 2005 Chevy Cobalt slips out of the “on” position, leaving her without power steering, power brakes or air bags. Losing control of the car, Megan strikes a telephone junction and two trees. With no air bags, both teenage passengers are killed and Megan is left suffering catastrophic injuries.

Now consider one more important and pivotal date: June 1, 2009. On this date, the maker of the Chevy Cobalt, General Motors, files for bankruptcy, erasing it’s massive outstanding debt…and its legal liabilities. With GM essentially becoming a new company after the U.S. government brokered bailout, the company is off the hook for product failure in the Cobalt prior to that date. GM has publicly apologized for the defect and recalled 1.6 million vehicles to fix the ignition switches. They have acknowledged 12 deaths caused by the problem, although estimates run as high as 300 deaths. But the bankruptcy ruling would most likely keep them from paying any civil damages for the product liability cases prior to the filing date.

There are still legal avenues for justice, and wrongful death lawsuits have been filed against the automaker. Bankruptcy doesn’t absolve criminal actions and there are indications that GM may have had knowledge of the defect prior to the bankruptcy filing.

The laws surrounding product liability are complex, as this landmark example illustrates. Glick Law Firm, PA, is committed to navigating the legal system to deliver justice for those who have been injured or killed because of defective products. Contact our office to speak personally with a Boca Raton product liability attorney regarding your injuries.