General Motors has had a problem for years that it intentionally ignored: faulty ignition switches. News reports state that GM knew of the issue as early as 2001 but failed to take any action until 2014. So far, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has the death toll at 13, but some put the casualties as high as 74 or more. GM has engaged in a classic “cost benefit analysis” in which they calculated the cost of repairing the switches against the potential future cost of paying out injury or death claims. This type of thinking presumes that human life has a cash value that can be measured and replaced by money. GM has even hired Ken Feinberg of BP Oil Spill payment fame to set up a compensation process to pay money to those who have lost loved ones or have been injured as a result of the switches turning off and shutting down the car during operation. General Motors has fired at least 15 people in an attempt to show that they have taken responsibility, but, unfortunately for the victims, these attempts are calculated business decisions made when companies put profits ahead of human life. Congress is currently holding hearings into the switch problem and the Department of Justice is also investigating.
Following graduation from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University, Eric Stevenson held a number of positions including Assistant State Attorney in the First Judicial Circuit of Florida. Eric has been practicing with partner Christopher Klotz since 2015 litigating personal injury and car accidents in Alabama and Florida.