Montgomery lawyers cry foul after GM releases internal report - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Montgomery lawyers cry foul after GM releases internal report

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Jere Beasley Jere Beasley
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

Montgomery civil litigation experts are crying foul after General Motors released the results of an internal probe, uncovering what its CEO called negligence and incompetence.

Despite the mass casualties, the auto giant continues to deny a cover up of the ongoing, deadly ignition interlock issues that have resulted in more than a dozen deaths, countless injuries and massive recalls.

Jere Beasley, the founder of the Beasley Allen Law Firm, one of the top civil litigation groups in the nation, says he read the report in disbelief. Not only does he contend GM covered up the faulty ignition switch, he says he can prove corporate executives knew about it 11 years ago.

"They were well aware of it when they did the designs, they were well aware of it when the death reports started coming in," Beasley said.

Beasley cites multiple fallacies with the probe, starting with the deposition of the top executives, many of which have resigned or been terminated. Beasley says they lied about missing documents connected to the interlock during sworn depositions, but quickly uncovered the papers for congressional hearings. According to discovery, obtained by the firm, Beasley reports GM went as far to quietly change the design in 2006 without changing the serial number.

GM holds true to the notion it was unaware of the problem until the deaths were reported. Beasley Allen refiled the first lawsuit that documented the fatal issue.

"Had for the Melton family not hired a lawyer, taken it to court, experts got involved and found out about the defect, I guarantee we wouldn't know about this problem today," Beasley said.

Unfortunately, GM and attorneys are in a reactive posture, there's no way to fully know what other models could be affected and if that information will come at the driver's expense. On a personal note, Beasley believes GM is beginning to do the right thing but they need tell the whole truth.

"I commend them for admitting fault and compensating the victims. But they ought to admit how many victims there really are. There are hundreds of victims who have been killed because of this known defect," Beasley said.

The firm has committed five lawyers, six in-house investigators, and auto engineers to investigate between 200 and 300 cases that have been referred by potential victims and other attorneys, a caseload growing daily.

To date, Beasley Allen has filed three wrongful death cases and a class action lawsuit against GM. A staff attorney will likely take the lead on the national class action case.

Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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