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GM Hides Vehicle Malfunction to Avoid Blame

Doris Phillips, a distraught Texas widow claimed in recent court documents that General Motors falsely accused her late husband as “a murderer and intended to kill himself and his children” when the family’s Chevrolet Malibu slammed head-on into an interstate light pole and that GM withheld evidence that a “vehicle malfunction” was the real cause of the wreck. She is asking for a “Do-over”.

Phillips, formerly Doris Powledge, had sued General Motors in 2007 on behalf of herself, the estates of her husband and their four late children in Galveston County Court.

According to the complaint, “On October 18, 2005, a father and his four children were killed in a fiery one-car accident. That morning Adam Powledge was taking his children to school. As they drove along I-45 in Houston, Adam lost control of his vehicle, a 2004 Chevy Malibu, and drove onto a grassy median. Unable to control the vehicle, the Malibu drove in an almost perfectly straight line until it was cut into two parts, down the middle, by a metal pole located at the center of the median. The car erupted in a fire with Adam and the little children inside.”

Everyone In The Car Died In The Wreck

In 2007, Phillips sued GM alleging that “an electrical malfunction caused a loss of control of the vehicle.”

GM discounted her theory and called it “implausible.”  No recalls had been issued on the 2004 Chevy Malibu as of 2007, even though GM was fully aware of the defect.

Phillip’s new complaint states: “A cornerstone of GM’s legal defense to the 2007 lawsuit was a particularly nefarious accusation – that Adam Powledge was not the victim of a GM defect, but was a murderer and intended to kill himself and his children. This defense was used throughout the litigation as a means of undermining Doris’s (sic) case.”

She also claims that GM used its bankruptcy to delay the litigation throughout 2009. With its assets stripped, GM was able to force a settlement that was pennies-on-the-dollar.

GM’s Concerns About Consumer Safety

GM has been pilloried in the media for making its bottom line its priority by electing to delay safety recalls for its Chevrolets, Saturns, and Pontiacs dating back to the model year 2004.  Their defective ignition switches can cause a dangerous sudden power loss.

Additionally, GM recalled another 1.3 million vehicles in March for defective power steering, including 2004 Chevy Malibus, the car in which Phillips’ husband and four children died.

This latest recall prompted Phillips to sue GM on Tuesday and ask the court to set aside and vacate the final judgment in her previous lawsuit. Phillips is asking for “up to $300 million in punitive damages for fraud, conspiracy, infliction of emotional distress and racketeering.”

Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys

The experienced Personal Injury attorneys at Charles G. Monnett III & Associates provide free initial consultations, support, and assistance in finding resources to help you and your family deal with serious injuries or death as a result of automobile accidents or negligence. We can also help you pursue legal action.

If you or a family member would like more information about your legal options and determine whether you have a claim, call our office today at (704) 859-2003, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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