Jury Finds GM Guilty of Selling Defective Ignition Switches, Not for Causing Crashes

Reuters is reporting that jurors have found General Motors guilty of selling vehicles with defective ignition switches, although the part was not to blame for a 2014 accident.

This was the verdict handed down earlier today in Manhattan, after the eight jurors deliberated for less than 24 hours. It was decided that the Saturn Sky involved in a 2014 accident on a New Orleans bridge was “unreasonably dangerous” and GM failed to warn the public about potential safety risks.

However, the Saturn’s “unreasonably dangerous” state was not to blame for the 2014 accident.

Dionne Spain and Lawrence Barthelemy of New Orleans claim the faulty switch was to blame for injuries sustained when Spain’s 2007 Saturn Sky crashed into the guardrail; GM says the accident was minor and a result of poor conditions.

The jury found that Spain and Barthelemt certainly suffered injuries as a result of the crash, but said the switch was not culpable for the crash.

“The jurors studied the merits of the case and saw the truth: this was a very minor accident that had absolutely nothing to do with the car’s ignition switch,” GM said in a statement immediately after the verdict. “The evidence was overwhelming that this accident — like more than 30 others that occurred in the same area that night — was caused by the driver losing control on an icy bridge during a state-wide winter weather emergency.”

Although they were found guilty of selling faulty switches, this is GM’s second victory in bellwether trials. Four more trials are scheduled this year to help resolve further claims.