Michael Smerconish Discusses the General Motors Recall and the Importance of the Civil Justice System

April 8, 2014

CNN’s Michael Smerconish reflects on his interview last week with Ken and Beth Melton, who lost their 29 year-old daughter, Brooke, four years ago this week in a car accident resulting from a defect with the ignition switch in her 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt that General Motors knew about before she ever purchased the vehicle.

Four days before the fatal accident, Brooke’s car shut off while she was driving, causing her to lose her power steering and brakes. She was able to pull her car over and restart it, and took it to the dealership the next morning to be repaired. Tragically, she died in a car accident the day after she got it back.

With little question in their minds Brooke’s accident was the result of the same issue that was causing her car’s engine to cut off, the Melton’s hired an attorney, who in turn hired experts to conduct an investigation, and filed a lawsuit against General Motors.

In the Melton’s lawsuit, it was revealed that General Motors knew of the defect with the ignition switches in several of its vehicles, including the 2005 Chevy Cobalt, but opted not to fix the issue because redesigning the ignition switch would have cost $0.90 per car.

While details are still emerging in the General Motors recall case, Michael Smerconish thinks it’s clear that a major reason that General Motors decided to come out with their version of the story now was because of the Melton’s pursuit of justice and willingness to file a lawsuit.

Smerconish goes on to explain how the Melton’s case is a perfect example of the importance of our civil justice system and how it often serves as a more vigilant force than the government in holding companies accountable.

You can watch the segment below.