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Recall leads to overturning of driver guilty pleas

Many Louisiana motorists were likely affected by a General Motors recall of 2.6 million vehicles that occurred in February 2014 in connection with a faulty ignition switch. Some drivers have had guilty pleas in fatal accidents overturned and have received compensation from the auto manufacturer. However, one man who was charged after the recall was issued has turned down an offer of $70,000 in compensation and sued the company instead. The amount offered was just enough to cover the cost of the man's criminal defense lawyer and the private detective who linked his accident with the recall.

In another case, the decision of a judge to vacate a woman's guilty plea to reckless driving and involuntary manslaughter is being appealed by prosecutors while the woman's own lawyer is seeking a ruling of innocence. The woman has accepted an undisclosed sum from General Motors. Another woman's fiance died in a 2004 accident in which she was driving, and in 2014, her negligent homicide plea was reversed.

A man who spent six months in prison has also accepted an undisclosed sum from General Motors. An attorney representing the two women drivers has said it is likely there will be more cases like these.

Injuries from a motor vehicle accident can be both physically and financially devastating, and injured victims may need to identify who is responsible when seeking compensation. As has been shown, a driver may appear reckless when there is actually a defect in the vehicle. In such a situation, a car manufacturer may be partly or wholly responsible. Injured victims may thus want to seek the advice of legal counsel when determining who to pursue for the damages that have been sustained.

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