The New Chrysler has reversed itself from its previous stand of refusing to accept any auto product liability lawsuits resulting from the 30 million vehicles still on the road. The automaker has agreed to cover product liability claims that result after the company emerged from bankruptcy protection on June 10.
In a company letter sent to Congress last Friday, Chrysler says that future car accident victims, who believe their injuries resulted from a defective, seat belt, roof, side air bag, or any other auto part, will be able to sue the new company. However, 300 or so claims that were pending before Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy will not be covered.
Victims like a man who lost both legs after an accident in a defective Chrysler and filed before the company declared bankruptcy, will not be able to have their day in court. Instead they will become a creditor and stand in line to receive assets from a bankrupt company.
There are about 300 individuals who had Chrysler lawsuits pending and about 1,500 more with pending claims against General Motors which also declared bankruptcy and wiped out their cases. You can read about their cases in a special report prepared by the Center for Justice & Democracy – Victim Cases Wiped Out. (http://centerjd.org/archives/press/2009/GM-Chrysler%20Victim%20Stories.pdf)
Chrysler is known to have collapsing seat backs that in a collision, collapse backwards into rear passengers. The defect exists in over 10 million vehicles model years 1990 to 2009.
Since 1994, Chrysler has produced over two million Grand Cherokee SUVs with roofs that tend to buckle or cave in, resulting in traumatic head injuries and paralysis.
And who could forget the tailgate latch failures on many minivans that flew open along with passengers, resulting in 40 deaths, many of them children. Yet only half of the 4.1 minivans were repaired.
The New Chrysler chairman knows that leaving these dangerous cars on the road would leave them sitting in used car lots if the word got out. Chrysler victims even petitioned the Federal Trade Commission to put a skull and crossbones sticker on used Chryslers.
Chrysler did the right thing to cover future product liability lawsuits, but what about those people who are left to fight among others for scraps from a bankrupt company? Guess what, you and I pay for them, through Medicare and Medicaid, many for a lifetime of injuries.
Write your Congressman or woman and ask them to take care of the former Chrysler and GM accident victims who had their cases pending. After all, it was our tax dollars that went to bail out these companies before they filed for bankruptcy. It was the tax dollars of those injured people too. Talk about adding insult to injury.
If you believe that you have endured serious injuries in a car accident that was caused by a defective auto product, the skilled Florida auto defect attorneys at Farah and Farah can help you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact our experienced personal injury lawyers well-versed in product liability today for a free consultation of your case.
Source articles: http://detnews.com/article/20090828/AUTO01/908280343/Chrysler+to+assume+product+liability+it+had+shed+in+bankruptcy; http://news.prnewswire.com/DisplayReleaseContent.aspx?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/08-27-2009/0005084385&EDATE=