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Tag Archives: car crash

Drunk driver blamed for fatal car crash in Queens

New York – Police investigators from the NYPD have determined that an intoxicated driver caused the four car accident on the Grand Central Parkway this past Sunday. The tragic crash began when the driver of an SUV, apparently drunk, hit a second SUV truck causing a series of collisions. Several of the vehicles rolled over during the accident and 2 victims were killed, including a 34-year-old man and a teenager. Several other accident victims suffered various injuries, including at least one head injury and broken bones. Police say that reckless driving contributed to the initial crash and the driver of that first vehicle was charged with multiple driving and safety violations.

Besides for the criminal charges that the man faces, a Manhattan accident lawyer specialist explains that the intoxicated driver can face several civil lawsuits for causing the collision. These include wrongful death lawsuits by the family of the victims who were killed as well as personal injury lawsuits by the injured drunk driving accident victims. If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident, you have the right to speak to an injury attorney to discuss your case. See this article for further details about this deadly truck accident in Queens.

Photo for illustrative purposes only. Photo Credit: Bugeater [License]

Drunk wrong-way driver causes accident on Long Island

New York – Police were called about a woman driving the wrong direction http://www.newsday.com/long-island/nassau/northern-state-wrong-way-crash-caused-by-drunken-driver-cops-say-1.13068722 on the Wantagh State Parkway recently. Unfortunately, they were unable to stop the vehicle before she caused a car crash in a head-on collision with another car. The police investigators believe that the woman was driving while intoxicated, leading to her driving the wrong way onto the highway. The drunk driver was arrested and charged in causing the accident with injuries. The driver of the second car also suffered injuries, including a hand injury, in the accident and required treatment. Trauma specialists note that such an injury can include a broken bone, nerve damage and tendon or ligament wounds. They explain that an accident victim should seek emergency medical evaluation and treatment to prevent more serious complications. Accident reconstruction experts add that a head-on collision such as this can be even more significant, since the opposing forces can increase the severity and likelihood of injury. See this article http://patch.com/new-york/eastmeadow/nassau-woman-arrested-dwi-after-driving-wrong-direction-northern-state-causing for more about this drunk driving accident.

Illustrative Photo Credit: Rian Castillo [License]

$375,000 Mediated Settlement — Passenger in Motor Vehicle Accident Receives Compensation

New York – This 39-year-old woman was injured as a passenger in a vehicle involved in a car crash with a second car in 2013. She suffered multiple injuries, including a bowel perforation due to a seatbelt injury and broken bones. She filed personal injury claims against the drivers of the two vehicles with the help of the injury law specialists of Morrison & Wagner. They helped negotiate a settlement of $375,000.

Illustrative Photo Credit: Dino Kuznik [License]

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Intersection collision caused bowel perforation (VerdictSearch.com by Priya Idiculla)

Mediated Settlement: $375,000

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Court: Suffolk Supreme, Suffolk County, New York

Injury Type(s): bowel/colon/intestine, perforation; scar and/or disfigurement; abdomen; fracture, radius; fracture, distal; fracture, metatarsal; fracture, wrist; wrist; fracture, toe; hyperpigmentation; keloid; physical therapy

Case Type: No-Fault Case — Motor Vehicle — Passenger — Motor Vehicle — Intersection

Date: November 2, 2016

Plaintiff Attorney(s):
Stuart Wagner; Morrison & Wagner; New York, NY

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Facts & Allegations:
Around 6 p.m. on May 1, 2013, the plaintiff, 39, a factory worker, was a front seat passenger in a 1998 Nissan operated by Defendant A., 23. As the vehicle was travelling westbound on Rappo Drive and approaching the intersection of Simeon Wood Road, in Islip, Suffolk County, a 2012 Hyundai operated by Defendant B who was travelling east bound on Rappo Road, made a left turn in front of the Defendant B’s vehicle. The front of Defendant A’s vehicle collided with the driver’s side door of Defendant B’s vehicle.

The Plaintiff sustained injuries to her abdomen, left non-dominant wrist and right foot.

Plaintiff sued both defendants. In a consolidated case, Defendant A, through different counsel, sued Defendant B, but the case settled.

Plaintiff contended that the defendants were negligent in the operation of their vehicles.
The intersection was controlled by a traffic signal. The traffic signal was green for travel on Rappo Road. A witness statement obtained by the police indicated that Defendant A’s head was down as she entered the intersection and there was speculation that she may have been looking down at her cell phone when the accident occurred.

Plaintiff contended that Defendant B was negligent in attempting a left turn across oncoming traffic. Plaintiff further contended that Defendant A was negligent in failing to take any evasive action to avoid the accident and for being inattentive.

Defendant A claimed she had the right of way, and therefore Defendant B was negligent in making a right turn and failing to yield to oncoming traffic. Defendant B claimed that Defendant A was not paying attention while she entered the intersection.

Injuries/Damages
As a result of the impact and the pressure to her abdomen due to the seatbelt, the Plaintiff perforated her bowel. She also sustained a fracture to her left distal radius, and fractures to her right metatarsals, 1 through 4. The plaintiff also sustained pigmentation of her skin near her upper cheek as a result of the air bag deploying. The injured plaintiff was taken by ambulance to Southside Hospital for repair of the small bowel perforation. She underwent an emergency laparoscopy and small bowel repair on May 1, 2013. She remained in the hospital for six days. After discharge from the hospital she underwent physical therapy for her radial and toe fractures, which lasted until December, 2013.

Her wrist fracture was casted, and she wore a CAM Walker boot for her right toe fractures. She is left with keloid scarring along the abdomen. The plaintiff claims she has trouble now when lifting things with her left hand, and that when there is any pressure on her abdomen, she has pain. This includes that she can no longer sleep on her stomach, as it causes her irritation. The plaintiff missed three weeks of work after the accident and has since returned to work.

Result
As the case was proceeding to jury selection, Judge Paul Baisley negotiated a settlement of $375,000 with the insurance carrier for Defendant A tendering their $25,000 policy, and with the insurance company for Defendant B paying $350,000.

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Judge: Judge Paul Baisley

Editor’s Note: This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff’s counsel and defense counsel for Defendant A. Defense counsel for Defendant B did not respond to the reporter’s phone calls. Counsel for Defendant A in her consolidated case declined to contribute.

Multiple car crash pile-up in Staten Island being investigated

New York – As many as twelve vehicles were involved in a horrific car accident in a busy Staten Island intersection. Police believe that the multi-car pile-up began when an elderly woman crashed her car into a pick-up truck on Victory Boulevard at a traffic light. Witnesses note that the senior citizen was speeding through the intersection when she lost control. This set off a chain reaction where her car then slammed into additional vehicles at the red light, causing more cars to crash into one another as well. The woman suffered a severe head injury and subsequently died in the hospital. One of the vehicles that the elderly woman’s car hit was an SUV being driven by a 75-year-old man. That SUV driver died of the injuries from an accident, according to emergency responders. Officials note that at least 12 other accident victims were injured in the incident and received emergency treatment. Several of those injury victims have been listed as suffering with serious or even critical wounds.

One of the things that has road safety experts concerned is that the intersection was a known hazard zone, so the speed limit was lowered to only 25 miles-per-hour and designated as a “slow zone.” However, some believe that at least some must have been speeding cars or reckless driving, as evidenced by the severity of the collisions and damage to the cars. The initial cause of the fatal accident needs additional investigation but experts explain that there may have been several negligent drivers that contributed to the collision. See this article and video for additional information.

Illustrative Photo Credit: Rian Castillo [License]

$300,000 Verdict for Victims Injured in Rear-End Car Crash

New York — A couple in their 60s were read-ended in a car accident while they were stopped at a red light. They both suffered accident injuries and decided to file a personal injury lawsuit. They claimed that the defendant was a negligent driver. With the assistance of a car accident lawyer with Morrison & Wagner, the couple received a jury verdict that awarded them over $300,000.

Illustrative Photo Credit: Rian Castillo [License]

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Couple claimed car crash caused knee, shoulder injuries (VerdictSearch)

Verdict Amount: $300,000

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Court: Bronx Supreme, Bronx County, New York

Injury Type(s): knee – meniscus tear; other – labrum tear; other – physical therapy; surgeries/treatment – arthroscopy; surgeries/treatment – knee surgery

Case Type: Motor Vehicle – Passenger, Rear-ender, No-Fault Case, Multiple Vehicle

Date: April 8, 2011

Plaintiff Attorney(s):
Stuart Wagner; Morrison & Wagner, L.L.P.; New York, NY

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Facts:

On Aug. 23, 2007, the plaintiff, 69, a retiree, was driving on Third Avenue, near its intersection at East 188th Street, in Harlem. His wife, plaintiff’s decedent, 63, a homemaker, was a passenger. When the man reached the intersection, he stopped at a red traffic signal. Before he could resume travel, his vehicle’s rear end was struck by a trailing vehicle driven by a man who was not the owner of the vehicle. The plaintiff claimed that he sustained injuries of his knees. His wife claimed that she sustained injuries of a knee and a shoulder. She subsequently died, but her death was not related to the accident.

The injured plaintiff, acting individually and as administrator of his wife’s estate, sued the driver and the owner of the vehicle. The plaintiffs alleged that the driver was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. The plaintiffs further alleged that the vehicle’s owner was vicariously liable for the driver’s actions.

Defense counsel conceded liability. The matter proceeded to a summary jury trial that addressed damages.

Injury:

The plaintiff drove to Metropolitan Hospital Center, in Manhattan, and he underwent minor treatment.

The injury victim ultimately claimed that he sustained tears of his knees’ menisci. On Sept. 26, 2007, he underwent arthroscopic surgery that addressed the injury of his left knee. On Jan. 25, 2008, he underwent arthroscopic surgery that addressed the injury of his right knee. He contended that he also underwent several months of physical therapy.

The plaintiff claimed that he suffers permanent residual pain that prevents his resumption of one of his favorite activities: gardening. He sought recovery of damages for his past and future pain and suffering.

The man’s wife was placed in an ambulance, and she was transported to Metropolitan Hospital Center. She underwent minor treatment.

The injured woman ultimately claimed that she sustained a tear of her right knee’s meniscus; a tear of the labrum of her right, dominant arm’s shoulder; and a tear of the same shoulder’s rotator cuff, though the latter injury was not definitively diagnosed. On Dec. 31, 2007, she underwent arthroscopic surgery that addressed her right knee. On Jan. 3, 2007, she underwent arthroscopic surgery that addressed her right shoulder. She also underwent several months of physical therapy. She died some eight months after the accident had occurred, but her death was not related to the accident.

The deceased woman’s estate sought recovery of damages for her pain and suffering.

The parties stipulated that the plaintiffs’ total damages could not exceed $150,000.

Defense counsel contended that neither plaintiff sustained a serious injury, as defined by the no-fault law, Insurance Law § 5102(d). She claimed that their injuries stemmed from age-related degenerative conditions that were not related to the accident. She challenged the extent of the plaintiff’s treatment, noting that he could not produce any record of having undergone physical therapy, and she questioned the extent of his pre-accident gardening activities. She also noted that doctors did not definitively diagnosis a tear of the injured woman’s right shoulder’s rotator cuff.

Result:

The jury found that each plaintiff sustained a serious injury. It determined that their damages totaled $375,000. The plaintiff’s share totaled $200,000, which comprised damages for past and future pain and suffering, and the wife’s estate was allocated $175,000, all for pain and suffering.

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Judge: Yvonne Gonzalez

Editor’s Comment: This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiffs’ counsel. Defense counsel did not respond to the reporter’s phone calls.

$600,000 Settlement -- Home Health Aid Injured in Nassau Car Crash

New York — A 52-year-old woman who was working as a home health aid suffered severe accident injuries in a car accident. The car was owned by her employer and being driven by a friend of the employer, who both died during the car crash. The injured woman consulted with the expert lawyers of Morrison & Wagner and filed a personal injury lawsuit against the estates of the employer and driver. The estates agreed to pay the injury victim $600,000 in damages.

Illustrative Photo (Altered to obscure license plate and address): Todd Dwyer [License]

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Heart failure, age blamed for fatal car crash (VerdictSearch)

Amount Recovered: $600,000

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Court: Bronx Supreme, Bronx County, New York

Injury Type(s):
ankle; other-laceration; other-tendon; severed/torn foot/heel-foot; neurological-nerve damage/neuropathy (nerve damage, peroneal nerve)

Case Type: Motor Vehicle – Speeding, Passenger, Single Vehicle

Date: June 15, 2007

Plaintiff Attorney(s):
Stuart Wagner; Morrison & Wagner, L.L.P.; New York, NY

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Facts:

On March 26, 2003, the plaintiff, 52, was working as a home health attendant for defendant A, at defendant A’s home in Westbury. On this day, defendant B invited defendant A out to dinner and offered to drive. The three of them go into the garage, and the defendant B sat down in the driver seat of defendant A’s vehicle, while the plaintiff and defendant A got into the back seat. The vehicle then sped out of the garage, down the driveway, turned right and crashed into a house across the street. Defendant B, who was driving, was found unconscious at the accident scene and having sustained multiple injuries. He later died without having regained consciousness. Defendant A was also killed in the accident. The injured plaintiff claimed that as a result of the collision her feet became trapped under the front passenger seat and that she sustained severe lacerations of her right ankle and toes.

The woman accident victim sued defendant A’s estate and defendant B’s estate. She alleged that defendant B, as the driver, was negligent in the operation of the vehicle and that defendant A, as the vehicle owner, was vicariously liable for defendant B’s actions.

Defendant A’s estate commenced a separate action against defendant B’s estate, alleging that defendant B was negligent in the operation of the vehicle. The matters were joined for trial. However, the action by defendant A’s estate settled on Sept. 25, 2006, and the plaintiff’s matter continued against both defendants.

The woman claimed that defendant B was negligent for pulling out of the garage and driveway at an excessive rate of speed and for failing to keep proper control of the vehicle. Plaintiff’s counsel argued that defendant B should not have been driving at his advanced age of 86.

Defense counsel alleged that defendant B suffered a stroke or heart attack once he was behind the wheel and that this caused defendant B’s erratic driving. The defense contended that since this was an unforeseen event, there was no liability. Plaintiff’s counsel argued that there was no medical evidence to prove that defendant B had suffered either a heart attack or stroke.

Injury:

The plaintiff was placed in an ambulance and transported to Winthrop-University Hospital, in Mineola. She remained in the hospital for eight days and was diagnosed with compound lacerations of the dorsal aspect of the right foot, including lacerations of the extensor digitorum communis tendons and extensor digitorum brevis tendons of toes 2 through 5, and a laceration of the peroneal nerve in the right ankle. The car crash victim underwent operative repair of the peroneal nerve injury the day after the accident, followed by approximately 26 weeks of physical therapy, but she complained that it was not successful.

The plaintiff claimed that the lacerations of her right ankle and toes caused a loss of function to the long extensors of the lateral toes. She alleged that she was left with a club foot and had trouble walking. She sought recovery of damages for her past and future pain and suffering.

Defense counsel contended that the plaintiff made a good recovery from her injuries following the surgery. The defendant’s orthopedic expert determined that the surgery was successful and that the woman’s toes were OK. However, he found that she did experience a loss of sensation to the lateral two-thirds of her right foot due to the peroneal nerve laceration. He determined that the plaintiff could not actively extend her lateral toes, but that they were in a neutral position and did not curl downward or upward. Thus, the expert concluded that the woman did not suffer a disability.

Result:

The parties agreed to settle prior to trial for $600,000. Of the total settlement, defendant B’s estate paid $500,000, and defendant A’s estate paid $100,000.

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Judge: Howard R. Silver

Editor’s Comment: This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff’s and defense counsel.

Seat back failures during car crash can cause serious injuries

Research data shows that during a car accident, the back of the driver’s seat can break, causing severe injuries. The worrisome thing noted by experts is that this is true even of cars that meet the most current National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) guidelines. The concern involves not just the driver’s seat but also the seat back of the front passenger, according to specialists. They note that the problem is not limited to any one car manufacturer and is a well-known dangerous condition that has been ignored for way too long. The car seat failure often occurs during a rear-end accident where the vehicle is hit from behind. The force of the crash is transferred into the seat back which then buckles and cracks under the pressure. The person sitting in the seat is then violently thrown and injured, even when wearing a seatbelt. Common injuries can include spinal injury, paralysis and internal bleeding from lacerated organs. Activists familiar with the problem explain that passengers in the rear seat of the vehicle, often little children, are also prone to suffer severe injuries and wounds due to the defect. Children have been known to suffer facial injuries, head injury and even death after being struck by pieces of the seat. Cases have been documented of the headrest breaking off and striking the back seat passenger as well.

Car safety advocates have expressed outrage over the fact that the federal government and car makers haven’t properly fixed the hazard. They insist that the federal regulations must be changed to force factories to reinforce the seats so that they don’t collapse or snap during a high force impact of a motor vehicle collision. Some have pointed out that not doing so may be considered negligence and expose the negligent parties to accident lawsuits. You can read more about the weak federal safety standards and deadly problem here.

Illustrative Photo (Altered to obscure license plate): Joe Shlabotnik [License]

$225,000 Jury Verdict – Queens Car Crash Causes Neck, Back and Shoulder Injuries

Queens County – John Doe was the driver of a car that was involved in a car collision with another vehicle in the Fall of 2010. The other vehicle made a left turn and slammed into the driver’s side of Doe’s car, causing damage to both vehicles as well as personal injuries. The car accident occurred only steps away from his house, so Mr. Doe went home, hoping that the pain would get better on its own.

Unfortunately, Doe’s accident injuries didn’t go away so he began treatment and regular visits with a doctor. His injuries included neck and back pain as well as a torn rotator cuff shoulder injury. Conservative treatment with physical therapy did not solve his pain and suffering, leading to the need for an arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder. Despite all of his medical care, the car crash victim was left with significant pain and unable to function normally at work.

Mr. Doe turned to a team of expert accident lawyers http://morrisonwagner.com/about-us/ who reviewed the case and helped Doe file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver of the other vehicle. They claimed that the defendant’s negligent driving caused the motor vehicle collision and Doe’s injuries. Following a jury verdict, Doe was awarded $225,000 for pain and suffering from the injuries. For more details on this case, read the expanded article below.

Illustrative photo by W. Robert Howell from Charlotte, NC, United States (still here.) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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Car Crash Caused Shoulder Woes, Restaurateur Claimed (VerdictSearch.com, by Priya Idiculla)

Verdict: $225,000
Net: $100,000

Facts & Allegations:
In September of 2010, plaintiff John Doe, 43, a restaurant’s owner, was driving in the Briarwood section of Queens. While Doe was proceeding through the intersection, his vehicle’s left side was struck by a vehicle that was being driven by Mr. Jack Smith, who was executing a left turn. Doe’s vehicle was propelled across the intersection. Doe claimed that he sustained injuries of his back, his neck and a shoulder. Doe sued Smith. Doe alleged that Smith was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. Liability was decided via summary judgment. The matter proceeded to a summary jury trial that addressed damages.

Injuries/Damages:
neck; derangement, shoulder; rotator cuff, injury (tear); arthroscopy; physical therapy; soft tissue; back; massage therapy

Doe refused immediate medical attention, and he returned to his home, which was located some 50 feet from the scene of the accident. After some two hours had passed, he presented to a medical clinic. He claimed that he was suffering pain that stemmed from his back, his left, non-dominant arm’s shoulder and his neck. He underwent minor treatment.

Doe ultimately claimed that he sustained derangement of his left shoulder, two small tears of the same shoulder’s rotator cuff, and injuries of soft tissue of his back and neck. Photographs of his vehicle depicted damage in the area in which his left shoulder would have been situated. Doe immediately commenced a course of conservative treatment that included massages, physical therapy, and the application of cold and hot packs. The treatment lasted about six months. On Nov. 4, 2010, he underwent arthroscopic surgery that addressed his left shoulder.
Doe claimed that his injuries prevented his performance of about six months of work. He also claimed that his left shoulder remains painful, that the pain is permanent and that it limits his performance of his work duties. His restaurant is located in South Carolina. He claimed that he alternately spends 10 days in New York and 20 days working in South Carolina. He further claimed that he previously drove to and from work, but that his residual effects necessitate his use of air transportation, at a greater cost.

Doe sought recovery of $100,000 for past pain and suffering and $125,000 for future pain and suffering.

The defense’s expert orthopedist submitted a report in which he opined that Doe’s injuries were degenerative conditions that predated the accident. The expert reviewed the results of a post-accident MRI scan of Doe’s left shoulder, and he opined that the test revealed minor bursitis and minor tenosynovitis, which involves restrictive inflammation of the sheath of a tendon. The defense’s expert radiologist submitted a report in which he opined that the test did not reveal an abnormality. Defense counsel noted that Doe refused immediate medical treatment, did not present to a hospital and immediately resumed work.
The defense’s expert orthopedist also opined that Doe’s surgery was unnecessary. He contended that an additional month of physical therapy could have averted the need for surgery.

The parties stipulated that Doe’s damages could not exceed $100,000.

Result:
The jury found that Doe’s damages totaled $225,000, but Doe recovered the stipulated limit: $100,000.

Editor’s Note:
This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff’s counsel. Additional information was gleaned from court documents. Defense counsel did not respond to the reporter’s phone calls.

Long Island car crash involves fire department truck and a car

New York – Two vehicles were involved in a collision on Thursday, injuring three accident victims. Stony Brook fire department officials confirmed that the car accident involved the department chief’s SUV truck. The truck accident was still under investigation to determine the cause but there is no indication at this time that the fire chief was driving with emergency lights and sirens. Reports also indicate that the fire department vehicle was not on its way to an emergency call at the time of the SUV accident. A New York lawyer who specializes in accidents notes that emergency vehicles, such as police cars, fire trucks and ambulances, have the responsibility to drive with due caution for others on the road even when driving with lights and sirens to an emergency. Reckless driving, even when responding to an emergency call, may be considered negligent and the driver and department can be held liable.
All three people who were involved in the motor vehicle collision were transported to a Long Island, New York hospital for treatment of their wounds. The front seat passenger of the car was listed with serious injuries and was admitted to the hospital. The drivers of the two vehicles were also taken to an area trauma center but later released. The injured people may also require continued follow up and therapy for their wounds. See this article for more about this accident with injuries.

Illustrative photo credit: Jenny Starley [License]

General Motors braces for more faulty ignition switch lawsuits

A dangerous product recall for defective parts in many General Motor (GM) vehicles has been in place for nearly a year. The car recalls have expanded since then, encompassing many car models manufactured as early as 2003 and as recently as 2011. Records show that well more than 300 wrongful deaths and more than 2,700 car accident injuries have been blamed on the defective car parts causing a crash. An administrator has been instructed to sort through the claims and lawsuits, in an effort to compensate the victims. At least 50 of those car crash death cases and 75 of the personal injury cases have been determined as eligible for compensation by the company. However, a deadline has been set for injury victims or the family of someone killed in a car collision to file a claim against the car company. GM has reportedly braced for a possible increase in the number of last minute claims and accident lawsuits against them in the coming days. Some of the injured people have sought the assistance of personal injury lawyer experts in order to make sure that they recover the money that they deserve. Analysts believe that the company has been trying to settle the lawsuit cases quickly, before the results are published from investigations into how much and when the car manufacturer knew about the dangerous situation regarding the flawed ignition switches. Accusations have circled for some time that the company were negligent by ignoring the known problem for many years, leading to many additional motor vehicle crashes. For further details about the ignition switch recall program, please see this article.

Illustrative photo by Ballista on en.wikipedia [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons