News

Plaintiffs Powerhouse Beasley Allen Makes a Bet on Atlanta

0 Comments
The Cooper Firm - Beasley Allen

Plaintiffs Powerhouse Beasley Allen Makes a Bet on Atlanta

Excerpt (Daily Report printed 2.8.17)

High-profile plaintiffs firm Beasley Allen has opened an Atlanta office, the first outside of its Alabama base.

Beasley Allen, founded in 1979, works on big cases all over the country, but its 75 lawyers have all been based in Montgomery until now. The firm tapped firm principal Chris Glover, who specializes in automotive product defect cases, to start the Atlanta office.

It has also joined forces with Marietta plaintiffs lawyer Lance Cooper for its foray into Georgia, after working with Cooper on litigation against General Motors over faulty car ignition switches. Cooper uncovered the faulty switches, which led to a massive recall of GM vehicles and national litigation.

“When we decided to come here, our very first stop was Lance’s office,” Glover said.

Cooper has become a principal at Beas­ley Allen, which is what the firm calls its partners, while also maintaining his own shop. The two firms will work on products liability cases together, both in Georgia and nationally.

Cooper said he started working with Beasley Allen on the GM ignition switch cases because of its greater resources and national capabilities. The Cooper Firm has just two lawyers, Cooper and Drew Ashby, which Cooper said is “how I want it.” While Cooper sticks to single-plaintiff suits, Beas­ley Allen also takes on class actions and multi-district litigations.

“Beasley Allen had the national outreach to work with lawyers and consumers around the country on these types of cases,” Cooper said.

The national GM litigation arose from Cooper’s representation of Ken and Beth Melton. They sued General Motors over a faulty ignition switch that they believed caused their daughter’s Chevrolet Cobalt to crash, killing her. The suit sparked 30 million car recalls and hundreds more suits around the country, including by Beasley Allen.

The Meltons settled with GM in 2013 for $5 million—a confidential figure later disclosed by GM—but Cooper re-opened the case for them the next year, alleging GM had fraudulently concealed that one of its engineers knew about the defect. Cooper partnered with Beasley Allen on the ensuing litigation and said that he handled more than 100 individual suits against GM.

GM ended up paying a $900 million penalty to resolve criminal charges for concealing the defective switch.

Cooper next joined forces with Beasley Allen on suits against Terex Corp. over alleged defects in a truck boom it manufactures. Cooper’s client Jeffrey Gaddy, a tree-trimmer, sued Terex in 2014 after the boom arm supporting the bucket he was standing in allegedly failed, sending the bucket crashing to the ground. The fall severed his spinal cord, leaving him paraplegic.

That suit, Gaddy v. Terex, is in discovery in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. Meanwhile, Terex recalled some models of its aerial boom for inspection and replacement of any that are defective. Cooper said Beasley Allen has a pending class action for consumers who own booms that Terex has not agreed to fix.

“It’s been a good partnership. We’ve been able to help our clients and do greater public good getting companies to recall their products,” Cooper said.

Read the full story at dailyreport.com.

Print PDF of Daily Report article here.

Chevy Facing Yet Another Round of Recalls

0 Comments

Chevy is facing another round of recalls as GM announces a 289k Chevy Impala recall for faulty airbag sensor system.

The passenger sensory system is able to detect if a person is seated in the passenger seat and activate the airbag release should an accident occur. The 2009-2010 Chevy Impala models are in question as GM said the sensory system is disabled if the seat frame makes contact with the wires of the unit that contacts the sensors. Vehicle owners will be notified and dealers are committed to fixing the damaged wires for free.

This latest announcement comes as no surprise. Clearly there was a shift in focus during the first decade of the millennium with GM and the safety of consumers was not the priority. In 2003, GM recalled 1.8 million vehicles for faulty windshield wipers. In 2004, GM recalled 3.7 million vehicles for tailgates that broke when people stood on them. It wasn’t until February 2014 when GM began rolling out recalls for faulty ignition switches installed in cars from 1997-2011 that a real pattern of negligence emerged. First it was 1.37 million for the ignition switch recall, then a new ignition switch flaw expanded the recall to 2.6 million. 3 months later, a recall for faulty brake light wiring and front seat belts in pre-2010 models brought the world-wide total to 13.6 million. By June of 2014, GM had recalled nearly 30 million vehicles worldwide for vehicles manufactured a decade before the announcement. This pattern was noticed by the media, the federal government, safety regulators, and most noticeably, attorneys on behalf of clients that were injured as a result of GM’s negligence in their safety and engineering practices.

The Cooper Firm was proud to represent one of the first families willing to go the distance and prove GM was at fault for the wrongful death of their daughter, Brooke Melton. If you, or someone you know, have been injured in an accident as a result of the negligence by an auto manufacturer, we would be proud to represent you as well.

Contact us today for a complimentary case consultation

Bankruptcy Will Not Protect GM from Ignition Switch Claims

0 Comments
GM Recall Lawyer - The Cooper Firm

New Ruling States Bankruptcy Will Not Protect GM from Ignition Switch Claims

Last week the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the 2009 bankruptcy filing by GM will not protect the company from claims related to the defective ignition switches installed in their vehicles from the years 1997-2011.

In 2014, GM announced a voluntary recall of nearly 3 million vehicles due to an ignition switch that could slip into an accessory position, effectively turning the car off unbeknownst to the driver. A recall that came about as a result of the relentless pursuit of justice by Ken & Beth Melton, the parents of Brooke Melton who died from injuries sustained in auto accident as a result of a faulty ignition switch in her Chevy Cobalt. The Cooper Firm had the privilege of representing the Melton family on this case. It’s important to know the outcome of the case proved that GM knew about the faulty ignition switch for years and chose not to fix or notify vehicles owners of the issue. GM ultimately expanded the recall to nearly 30 million vehicles worldwide.

Announcing bankruptcy in 2009 led to the creation of what was dubbed ‘New GM’. According to the ruling, ‘New GM’ could not be held responsible for any misconduct by ‘Old GM’ (i.e. knowingly installing faulty ignition switches in new vehicles) and therefore were immune to any lawsuits or claims from accidents that happened prior to 2009. Last week’s appeal changed all of that. The 2nd Circuit ruled that the bankruptcy court had no jurisdiction to free GM of those claims. The decision to file for bankruptcy does not change the fact that GM was aware of the issue and chose to hide it, denying people of their right to due process since they were not notified of the safety issue prior to the filing.

This is a big win for consumers who were affected by this cover-up. We expect to see an unprecedented amount of cases come forward from accidents that occurred prior to 2009 as a result of the faulty ignition switch and the actions of GM.

Check to see if your vehicle has an active recall here: NHTSA.gov

If you or someone you know has been injured as result of a possible GM ignition switch failure, please Contact Us today.

Source: Reuters.com

No Accident: Inside GM’s deadly ignition switch scandal – Atlanta Magazine

0 Comments
In The News - The Cooper Firm

No Accident: Inside GM’s deadly ignition switch scandal

Marietta attorney Lance Cooper was looking for answers behind a single crash. What he found led to a recall of 30 million vehicles.

Over the years, as he’s represented victims and survivors of horrific car accidents, Cooper has come to believe that federal regulations can do only so much. Corrupt corporate execs and engineers, he’s concluded, will always find ways to game the system. “You have to have some regulation,” says Cooper, who describes himself as an economic conservative. “But more often than not, regulations don’t work to protect people. That’s why you need the jury trial.” Not surprisingly for a liability attorney, Cooper sees the threat of seven- and eight-figure awards as the biggest incentive for car companies to do the right thing. Fear of litigation trumps fear of the federal government.

Read the full story here. 

0116_noaccident02_jmeister_oneuseonly

GM Settlement Money Going to Auto Safety Research – Daily Report

0 Comments
In The News - The Cooper Firm

GM Settlement Money Going to Auto Safety Research

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker

Ken and Beth Melton have become sponsors of a nonprofit organization that compiles data on automobile safety complaints nationwide. The current edition of the Safety Institute’s Vehicle Safety Watch List discloses their investment and says it is being made in memory of their daughter, Brooke Melton.

She was a 29-year-old nurse who died in 2010 after her 2005 Chevy Cobalt crashed. Police initially said she lost control because of wet roads. But her parents hired Lance Cooper of the Cooper Firm in Marietta, whose investigation found the faulty ignition switch that turned off while the car was running full speed on the highway, causing a loss of power steering and brakes and shutting off the air bags. The same defect was found in other cases involving other GM cars. Ultimately, the Meltons’ case led to 30 million recalls.

They settled with GM in March for a confidential amount, but revelations by both sides indicated the payment was at least $6 million.

Read the full story here. 

Why No GM Employees Have Been Prosecuted for Faulty Ignitions – Insurance Journal

0 Comments
In The News - The Cooper Firm

Why No GM Employees Have Been Prosecuted for Faulty Ignitions – Insurance Journal

By David Ingram

Lance Cooper, a lawyer whose investigation on behalf of the family of a fatal crash victim broke the case open, said the settlement was no consolation.

“It’s the same old story. If you have enough power and money you can always buy your way out of truly being held accountable for your misdeeds,” Cooper said in a statement.

Read the full story here. 

U.S. details $900M GM ignition settlement – The Detroit News

0 Comments
In The News - The Cooper Firm

U.S. details $900M GM ignition settlement – The Detroit News

By David Shepardson and Melissa Burden

Georgia attorney Lance Cooper, who represented the parents of Brooke Melton, 29, who was killed as a result of a 2010 crash in a Cobalt, said the fine is too small for the harm caused to families.

“When individuals, through their reckless conduct, cause someone to die, they go to jail,” Cooper said. “When large corporations, such as GM, through their reckless conduct cause hundreds of people to die, they simply pay a fine, write it off as a tax loss, and move on.”

Read the full story here. 

Corporate ‘siloing’ an obstacle to charging GM employees: prosecutor – Rueters

0 Comments
In The News - The Cooper Firm

Corporate ‘siloing’ an obstacle to charging GM employees: prosecutor – Rueters

By David Ingram

Lance Cooper, a lawyer whose investigation on behalf of the family of a fatal crash victim broke the case open, said the settlement was no consolation.

“It’s the same old story. If you have enough power and money you can always buy your way out of truly being held accountable for your misdeeds,” Cooper said in a statement.

Read the full story here. 

GM to Pay $900M Over Ignition Switch Scandal; Cooper Criticizes Deal – The Daily Report

0 Comments
In The News - The Cooper Firm

GM to Pay $900M Over Ignition Switch Scandal; Cooper Criticizes Deal

By Kathy Tucker

“Speaking on behalf of the families we represent, we had hoped that justice would be served in the criminal investigation of GM,” Cooper said. “Unfortunately, it’s the same old story—if you have enough power and money you can always buy your way out of truly being held accountable for your misdeeds.”

Cooper’s investigation discovered Brooke Melton’s car’s key was turned off, then later that the ignition switch was defective. The Meltons settled their case in 2013, then tried to give back the $5 million payment a year later when they discovered a GM engineer lied in a deposition saying he did not know about the defect. They refiled their lawsuit in 2014, adding allegations of fraud.
Read the full story here. 

General Motors agrees to fine over deadly ignition switch defect – WSBTV

0 Comments
In The News - The Cooper Firm

Read the full story here. 


Contact Us

Contact Us