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June 2014
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www.dplaw.com
1-800-632-9230
Dear Beth Panaccione,

Revelations that GM chose profit over safety highlight once again why it is so important to stand up for every American's constitutional right to pursue justice in a court of law. It is the great equalizer between the individual and the powerful.

Accountability and the Opioid Epidemic
While 2017 was a tough year for civil justice, as you will read in this month's newsletter, here is one bright spot. Those who see and deal with the devastation of opioid addiction firsthand are now turning to the justice system. So far 10 states and dozens of cities have sued opioid drug makers, alleging that these companies helped trigger the opioid epidemic by minimizing the risk of addiction and overdose. The hope is that these lawsuits will spur changes in the opioid industry just as they did in the tobacco industry, providing resources for prevention and treatment programs nationwide.
Continue reading.

Civil Justice System Compels Safety Innovations

Family’s Search for Answers Uncovers Fatal Flaw in GM Cars

Car seat
GM executives chose not to fix a defective ignition because it would cost $1 per car.

On March 10, 2010, Brooke Melton experienced the worst kind of déjà vu. Four days earlier, she had wrestled her 2005 GM Cobalt to the side of the road after the engine suddenly shut off. The car was serviced and supposedly fixed, but it happened again, cutting off power to her steering and brakes. This time the pediatric nurse, described by those who knew her as “sweet and caring,” lost control and swerved into another car. She died in the collision. Brooke was on her way to celebrate her 29th birthday with her boyfriend.

At the hospital, Brooke’s father bent over and whispered in his daughter’s ear that he would find out what happened that terrible night. The Meltons would exercise their right to seek justice and, like many brave Americans before them, ultimately make this a safer world for us all. GM knew ignition problem existed. >>>

BY THE NUMBERS /

13
Deaths

GM’s failure to fix a known defect with an ignition switch, which affected several Chevrolet models made between 2003 and 2007, is blamed for at least 32 crashes and 13 deaths.

Source: SEC Opens Probe Over GM Ignition Switch Recall, USA Today

11
Safety
Fixes

 

Major auto safety innovations prompted by litigation include gas tanks, side-impact protection, seat belts, roof design, tires, electronic stability, door latches, parking gear, air bags, power windows and seats.

Source: Driven to Safety, American Association for Justice

6,000
Lives
Saved

Approximately 6,000 deaths and millions of injuries are prevented each year because companies have improved the safety of their products and services in response to product liability laws.

Source: Congressional Testimony, Consumer Federation of America
BOOKMARK FAVORITES /

Group Urges GM to Create Compensation Fund

The Center for Justice & Democracy is a national consumer organization fighting for civil justice and raising awareness to protect Americans. Its members are urging GM to create a compensation fund for those injured in crashes related to the defective ignition switch.

Follow the Latest on Auto Safety, Consumer Rights

The Consumers Union and Ralph Nader founded the Center for Auto Safety in 1970 to provide consumers a voice for auto safety and quality in Washington, D.C. Visit the Center’s website to track recalls, file or read complaints and read about the latest developments in auto safety.

Federation Advancing Consumer Rights Since 1968

The Consumer Federation of America is an association of nonprofit consumer organizations established to advance consumer interests through research, advocacy and education. Today nearly 300 groups belong to the Federation. Find those located in your state here.

How Safe Is Your Car?

Tell us what you think about GM, safety defects and your car. You could win an iPod shuffle just for participating!

Survey here

Talking the Issues

Check out podcasts featuring topics from past issues of You Should Know, and subscribe to future shows via iTunes or RSS feed.

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