Family of Crash Victim Explains Decision To Sue GM

By: Jaclyn Piermarini Email
By: Jaclyn Piermarini Email

May 22, 2014

The family of the 20-year-old that died in a car crash on Stony Point Road in 2009 is suing General Motors. We talked to Benjamin Hair's parents about why they made that difficult decision.

The couple has filed a wrongful death lawsuit in connection to Ben's death. The suit alleges that GM concealed the ignition switch defect that caused the fatal car crash.

Gordon Hair says the lawsuit was filed in federal court this week.

"It seemed like this was the best avenue to proceed to attempt to hold GM accountable in some manner and that maybe we would be able to honor our son by helping others."

Ben had no drugs or alcohol in his system, was not speeding, and yet no airbags went off on impact.

So did GM let them buy Ben's 2007 Pontiac G5 and drive it, knowing it had a flaw that could be fatal?

Gordon Hair believes GM knew there was a serious flaw in their cars.

"You become negligent if you know there are deaths and you continue to build your vehicles without making any corrections. If they knew about it and there were actual deaths that were brought to their attention then individuals shouldn't be covering up."

Not long after the fatal crash, the Hairs started getting recall notices in the mail, telling them of an ignition switch defect with the car. When the switch fails, it powers down the car and cuts off the power steering, airbags, and brakes.

Another crucial piece of the lawsuit says GM did not disclose that all of the recalled cars held a data recorder.

They allege GM essentially did this in order to keep the death toll, already at 12, lower.

The recall notices just keep coming to the Hair home, despite them contacting GM repeatedly to get them to stop sending them.

Brenda and Gordon are seeking damages against GM for the way they feel they have been treated. They also want GM to be held accountable for their son’s death.

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