Marietta, GA—In a rare Saturday hearing, the parents of a Georgia woman allegedly killed because of a faulty General Motors vehicle ignition switch face a challenge to their attempted rescission of a reported $5 million settlement and the renewal of their wrongful death claim against the automaker.
Cobb County State Court Judge Kathryn J. Tanksley called the August 9 hearing, which CVN will record, to consider GM’s motion to dismiss a suit by Kenneth and Mary Elizabeth Melton, whose daughter Brooke died in 2010 after her Chevrolet Cobalt struck another vehicle. The Meltons contend that a faulty GM ignition switch in Brooke’s car shut off its engine while she was driving, causing her to lose control of the vehicle. GM subsequently recalled more than 2 million cars over the defect, which the automaker has reportedly linked to at least 13 deaths and 54 accidents so far.
The Meltons settled their suit against GM last year for $5 million, according to published reports. However, after GM announced its recall early this year, the Meltons attempted to rescind the settlement and renewed their suit, claiming GM gave them false information and covered up the defect for years. GM refused to accept the rescission and sought to remove the suit to federal court, but the case was remanded to Georgia state court last month. Judge Tanksley reportedly called Saturday's hearing on GM’s motion to dismiss because of scheduling conflicts with the parties’ attorneys.
In addition to GM, the Meltons are suing Thornton Chevrolet, the Georgia dealership that serviced Brooke’s car. They claim Thornton representatives told Brooke they had repaired her car’s ignition switch when they had not.
Attorneys from both The Cooper Firm, in Marietta, Georgia, and Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, of Montgomery, Alabama, represent the Meltons. GM is represented by attorneys from Moore, Ingram, Johnson & Steele, in Marietta.