Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys, leaders in the national GM recall litigation, have filed a lawsuit on behalf of Trenton Buzard – a child who was permanently paralyzed in a Chevy Cobalt accident when he was just one year old (Filed in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, E-Filing Number 1405010892). The filing comes as a response to a recent meeting between Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys and GM attorney Kenneth Feinberg.
During Friday’s meeting, Mr. Feinberg reportedly stated that GM would not necessarily evaluate victims based on individual cases, rather they would use a compensation plan similar to that implemented after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and Boston Marathon bombings. The “September 11th Victim Compensation Fund” and “One Fund Boston” were both handled by Ken Feinberg and were funded by taxpayer dollars and private donations, respectively.
“GM could have stopped these injuries and deaths from occurring at any time,” he said, adding, “The GM Compensation Fund will not be funded by taxpayers or private donations because here we have a culpable responsible party – General Motors.”
The lawsuit filed on Tuesday, May 06, 2014 on behalf of Trenton Buzard states the following:
“Given the vast number of instances of sudden engine power loss and non-deployment of airbags related to the defective ignition switch and New GM’s discovery or knowledge of many or all of the instances beginning with its inception in July 2009, New GM should have aggressively taken remedial measures to address these defects. New GM failed to do so. In fact, this first recall was not implemented until 2014 – nearly ten years after the first instances of engine power loss.”
Thomas J. Henry Meets with Ken Feinberg to Discuss Victim Compensation
Kenneth Feinberg, who met with Thomas J. Henry in Washington, D.C. last Friday to discuss the possibility of a compensation fund for victims, is now reportedly backtracking, telling Bloomberg News that “there were no settlement talks and GM has agreed to nothing.”
According to Thomas J. Henry, the discussion by Mr. Feinberg related to the forming of a compensation fund for victims. Mr. Feinberg discussed the theoretical GM compensation fund and compared it to the funds implemented after 9/11 and the Boston Marathon bombings.
“Feinberg represents GM and he is making it clear that GM won’t take responsibility for their actions,” Thomas J. Henry stated.
“Mary Barra and Ken Feinberg have both publicly discussed the civic and legal responsibilities of GM…but when it comes to Trenton Buzard GM has avoided this civic and legal responsibility. Trenton was directly discussed and no one from GM responded. We will ask a jury to decide what compensation should be provided to Trenton.”
The Story of Trenton Buzard – An Infant Paralyzed for Life
Trenton Buzard is one of nearly 500 GM recall clients currently represented by the firm. According to his attorneys, his emotional story of survival is one that truly makes a case for lifelong compensation plans.
On April 2, 2009, one-year-old Trenton was travelling in a 2005 Chevy Cobalt with his great-grandmother and aunt. While returning to their home from visiting relatives, their car lost power and was struck by another vehicle. An expert later determined that the vehicle slipped out of the “on” position and into the “accessory” prior to the crash, a documented outcome of faulty ignition switches in 2.6 million recalled GM vehicles.
The crash claimed the lives of Trenton’s 73-year-old great-grandmother and 13-year-old aunt as well as the driver of the other vehicle. Trenton was the sole survivor of the accident. He was left paralyzed from the waist down and required a feeding tube and breathing apparatus to stay alive. According to his doctors, Trenton will live the rest of his life wheelchair bound and unable to walk, requiring lifelong assistance.
Excerpt from the lawsuit:
“As a direct and proximate result of the collision and the negligent conduct of Defendants, TRENTON BUZARD suffered severe bodily injuries including a cervical spinal cord injury and brain hemorrhages, and resulting paralysis. The injuries are permanent in nature.”
“These children, these families, these lives…they are too important to be lumped up into an underfinanced fund,”Thomas J. Henry stated.
“GM is paying herds of lawyers to go to New York to fight for a bankruptcy shield while little Trenton Buzard lies paralyzed. GM knows about the Buzard family and to this day has not offered them any help. GM knew about Trenton as far back as 2010 and sat on this information without ever reaching out to help this little boy. What responsible corporate citizen ignores a little boy who is barely holding onto life in the face of a known defect that contributed to and caused his devastating injuries? The ‘New’ GM.”
He added, “If we need to file lawsuits in every individual case- that is what we will do to ensure that our clients get justice.”