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The Family who would not back down to GM for an Ignition Defect that killed their Daughter will be honored by the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association

justice-388623-m.jpgAlthough it is still not the norm, we are beginning to see families who have lost loved ones in accidents involving vehicles, pharmaceuticals, or other products with product liability defects stand up to the companies who are involved in the manufacturing and otherwise of such products, and not settle for amounts in either class action suits or otherwise. I have blogged about two (2) such extraordinary examples recently.


One blog being about the family of a four year old who was killed in a gas tank explosion who decided to take the case to trial whereby the jury awarded $ 150 Million Dollars to the family for the Wrongful Death of their precious son. The other case was the case of Beth and Ken Melton who took General Motors to the mat when their daughter was killed due to an ignition defect.

In the Melton case, it was further discovered that GM knew of the defect and further tried to cover it up . Chrysler, who was held responsible for the death of the four year old in the gas tank explosion case, has yet to acknowledge liability in that case, but the verdict has certainly turned heads of those at the National Highway Safety and Transportation Administration (NHSTA) who supported the gas tank design in the 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee and rendered it an unreasonable safety hazard on the road. As I blogged recently, NHSTA is now rethinking that decision very carefully.

The Meltons originally settled for $ 5 Million Dollars for the death of their daughter in the GM ignition defect case. When the Meltons discovered, however, after tedious and tenacious discovery that GM actually knew of this defect and tried to cover it up, they then recanted on the original $ 5 Million Dollar award and decided that the company should be held accountable for more given the abhorrent nature of the cover up. The Meltons, exhausted from the litigation process, did ultimately settle with GM for an undisclosed amount that is speculated to be more than $ 6 Million Dollars.

The Meltons will now be honored by the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association for their stamina as they are awarded the “Nestlehutt Award” that is named after Betty Nestlehutt. Ms. Nestlehutt was known for her case that ultimately overturned the cap in Georgia Medical Malpractice Cases on noneconomic damages with her 2010 Supreme Court Case. It has been quoted that the award is given to those who have shown, “Exceptional bravery in pursuing justice against all odds.” The award will be given tomorrow, April 30th, 2015 at the Ritz-Carlton in Buckhead, Atlanta, Georgia.

Both of these cases show the strength in families who have lost loved ones who realize that they have nothing left to lose but to go after the companies that should be held responsible.

At Julie A. Rice, Attorney at Law, & Affiliates we appreciate and honor all of those families that have taken cases to all levels despite the odds, and given the grief that they suffer under such horrible circumstances. Our Product Liability Lawyers and our Mass Tort Litigation Lawyers fully appreciate the courage that it takes to continue a fight when it seems that all is already lost when there has been the death of a loved one. This is why we are here to represent and encourage you every step of the way when you are faced with such a devastating situation.

If you find yourself in a situation where a loved one has been Catastrophically Injured or Tragically Killed in an accident involving a Product Liability Defect by any company, then please call us as soon as possible to discuss your case, we offer a Free Legal Consultation, and can be reached at any or all of the following means: By phone at (770) 865-8654, or (813) 363-6664; by email at; on the Contact Form on our Website; and/or on the Contact Form on our blog.

We look forward to hearing from you soon and assisting you in your legal situation today.

Similar Articles that have more information on the Melton Case can be found at this link.