GM and Chrysler Bailed Out and Freed From Legal Obligation To Pay Accident Victims

Bailed out by the taxpayers, but off the hook for compensating some of the very same people who have been seriously injured by their defective motor vehicles, this is the deal Chrysler and GM got as part of their government bailouts. When the U.S. Government brokered a bankruptcy for Chrysler two years ago, it allowed the car maker to discharge any and all¬†obligations it owed to car accident victims with pending cases against the automaker, or those who had already won an award or settlement. The Wall Street Journal has tracked several stories of some of the losers in the government deal, including the family of Vicki Denton. Ms. Denton died when the airbag in her 1998 Dodge Caravan failed to deploy in a collision. After years of litigation, in 2009 a jury determined that Ms. Denton’s vehicle was defective, and order Chrysler to pay her son $2.2 million in damages. Despite the jury’s finding, Chrysler has not paid the judgment, and under the rules of the bailout will never have to.