General Motors has scored two victories in its series of bellwether trials surrounding defective ignition switches in past vehicles. The first trial was thrown out due to perjury, and the second, most recent trial was awarded to GM after a jury decided the ignition switch was not at fault for the plaintiff’s injuries.
However, this upcoming bellwether trial was to be much different, because the jury was not dealing with injuries, it was dealing with the loss of life.
Reuters reports the upcoming trial, where plaintiff Nadia Yingling sued GM over the death of her husband, has been settled outside of court. Both Yingling’s lawyers and GM’s confirmed the news, but did not offer reasoning behind the decision.
The suit argued James Yingling, who was behind the wheel of a 2006 Saturn Ion, was killed due to the faulty ignition switch. The ignition switch cut power to the engine, which disabled the braking system and airbag deployment system. Mr. Yingling lost control of the Saturn Ion and struck a ditch bank and concrete culvert, causing traumatic brain injury, leading to his death.
The trial was scheduled for May 2, 2016, but the settlement will move the bellwether schedule to the next trial in a series of six.