Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis, and Miles, P.C., is filing a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the family of Daniel Hollaert, Jr., a 23-year-old man who was killed in December 2013 in Orleans County, N.Y., when his 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt crossed the center line of the roadway and crashed into a school bus. An investigation revealed the crash is clearly linked to GM’s defective ignition switch.

The ignition switch defect allows the key to unintentionally slip from the “run” to “off” or “accessory” position while the vehicle is being operated. The ignition defect causes the sudden loss of engine power, braking and steering, creating a hazardous emergency situation. The airbag system is also disabled and rendered useless. Representing Mr. Hollaert’s family are Beasley Allen lawyers Jere L. Beasley, J. Cole Portis and Mike Andrews, along with F. David Rusin of the William Mattar Law Offices in Williamsville, N.Y., and Lance Cooper of The Cooper Firm in Marietta, Ga.

“We are filing another wrongful death case involving a death caused by General Motors’ defective ignition switch,” Beasley Allen Founding Shareholder Jere Beasley said. “In this case, a 23- year-old man who was lawfully driving a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt lost control of his car when the ignition switch suddenly went into the off position. His Cobalt crossed the center line of the highway with no power steering or brakes and crashed head-on into an oncoming school bus. The Cobalt’s airbags failed to deploy and Daniel L. Hollaert, Jr., was killed. This was a tragic ending to a young life that was lost because GM covered up a known defect and failed to report to the government or the public the defect and its knowledge that deaths were occurring around the country caused by the identical defect that killed young Mr. Hollaert.

“GM has now recalled more than 17 million vehicles because of the defective ignition switches, a defect that the automaker intentionally covered up, withholding from the public all information about the extremely serious safety problems and hazards it created. This is conduct that deserves punishment and that punishment, based on what we now know about GM’s conduct, must be severe. It must be severe enough to teach the automaker a lasting lesson on safety, honesty and integrity.

“We, along with Lance Cooper’s firm, are currently investigating and evaluating more than 250 individual highway crashes that appear to have been caused by the defective ignition switch problem. We will be filing more lawsuits in the near future. We look forward to taking the depositions of persons at GM and Delphi who were involved in the ongoing saga at GM.”

GM initially recalled about 780,000 2005-07 Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 vehicles on Feb. 13. Twelve days later, it expanded the recall to include an additional 590,000 model-year 2003-07 Saturn Ion, Chevy HHR, Pontiac Solstice, and Saturn Sky vehicles. That initial recall now encompasses 2.6 million vehicles, and GM admits to 13 deaths related to the defect. In June, GM recalled an additional 3.4 million midsize and large cars for the same ignition switch defect. In July, GM recalled 17 older model (1997-2005) vehicles. GM attributes seven crashes, three deaths and eight injuries to this latest group of recalled vehicles, which it says allows “inadvertent ignition key rotation.” So far, GM has recalled 17.1 million cars this year because of the ignition switch defect, which is a shocking number by any standard.

UPDATE: The wrongful death lawsuit was filed July 9, 2014, in The Supreme Court, Monroe County, New York. Read a copy of the complaint.

In the News

Detroit News – Alabama law firm files wrongful death suit against GM
WHEC News – Lawsuit blames GM for Orleans County fatal crash

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