OnStar is facing a new wrongful death lawsuit that alleges the GM-owned subsidiary refused to provide critical geolocation information for an 80-year-old South Carolina woman during her kidnapping and subsequent murder.
Per a recent report from local NBC affiliate WMBF News, the estate of Mary Ann Elvington filed the wrongful death lawsuit on March 1st of this year. The lawsuit was filed against OnStar, as well as Dominique Brand, the latter of whom was convicted of Elvington’s kidnapping and murder.
Per Car Complaints, Brand kidnapped Elvington from her home in Horry County, South Carolina on March 28th, 2021. Brand forced Elvington into her 2012 Buick LaCrosse and demanded that she drive him to Waccamaw, North Carolina, then back to South Carolina. Elvington’s Buick LaCrosse was equipped with OnStar.
Reports indicate that Elvington’s family became concerned when it was discovered that her car was missing, prompting her son, Harold Elvington, to contact his mother. Ms. Elvington told her son that she was in her car, but could not provide her location or destination.
According to the lawsuit, Harold Elvington then contacted OnStar and said that his mother was in danger and needed immediate assistance, asking that OnStar provide either him or law enforcement with the vehicle location. OnStar allegedly refused, and instead placed a three-way call to Ms. Elvington’s car between Harold Elvington and his mother.
Ms. Elvington confirmed that she did not know where she was or where she was going, and refused to answer when asked if she would pull over and contact law enforcement. The call was then terminated. Ms. Elvington’s body was later found behind an abandoned grocery store in Marion County. Brand was convicted of kidnapping and murder in September of 2022 and is currently awaiting sentencing.
“Harold Elvington repeatedly contacted Defendant OnStar, alerted multiple agents of Defendant OnStar that Decedent was in danger, and requested Defendant provide the location of Decedent’s vehicle to him or law enforcement,” the lawsuit states. “Defendant OnStar refused these requests and took no further action to assist Decedent despite knowledge that Decedent was in danger and volunteering to assist Decedent.”
The lawsuit was filed in the Court of Common Pleas for the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit for the County of Horry, State of South Carolina. The plaintiff is represented by Pierce, Sloan, Kennedy and Early LLC, and the Law Office of L. Morgan Martin.