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GM agrees to $900 million criminal settlement over ignition-switch defect – USA Today

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In The News - The Cooper Firm

GM agrees to $900 million criminal settlement over ignition-switch defect – USA Today

By Nathan Bomey and Kevin McCoy

Lance Cooper — a Georgia attorney who discovered the hidden defect during a lawsuit, triggering the chain of events that led to its public disclosure — blasted the settlement.

“We had hoped that justice would be served in the criminal investigation of GM,” he said in a statement. “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.”

Read the full story here. 

Lance Cooper and the Power of Discovery: One Case, 30M Recalls

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In The News - The Cooper Firm

Some lawyers are known for what they do in the courtroom. Lance Cooper is known for the heavy lifting it takes to get there. “I’m not a flamboyant trial lawyer. Some are and they can pull it off,” Cooper said in his Marietta office recently. “Cases are won and lost in discovery. If you don’t have the evidence you need, it doesn’t matter how good a trial lawyer you are.”

Read the full story here. 

Parents of GM Crash Victim Fund Vehicle Safety Watchlist – NBC News

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In The News - The Cooper Firm

Parents of GM Crash Victim Fund Vehicle Safety Watchlist – NBC News

Read the full story here. 

Labor Day Warning: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

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Cobb Personal Injury Attorney - The Cooper Firm

Labor Day Warning: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

Local law enforcement is partnering with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for a national crackdown campaign on drunk driving.

For 20 days, the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign will be launched to help prevent and stop drunk driving as well as save lives. From August 21 to September 7 (Labor Day) drivers will see repeated messages, check points and increased officers on the road. There is a zero tolerance for drunk driving, and the campaign plans to enforce that.

In 2013, according to NHTSA, 10,076 people were killed in drunk-driving car crashes. This number is almost a third of all traffic fatalities. That same year, 38% of the crash fatalities on Labor Day weekend involved drunk drivers. That means 161 people died as a result of alcohol. It is illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher in EVERY state. On Labor Day weekend, more than 27% of fatalities involved BACs of .15 or higher in 2013. That’s nearly twice the legal limit!

NHTSA is taking it a step further this year by helping people get home safety if they have been drinking. With the agency’s SaferRide app (free on iTunes and Google Play), you can call a taxi or a friend to come pick you up. The app will even help you identify your location so that you can easily be picked up by your sober friend.

Remember that drunk driving is illegal and there will be consequences for your actions.

If you or someone you know has been injured by a drunk driver, contact our law offices today for a free consultation.

Source: NHTSA

Lance Cooper speaks at North Carolina Advocates for Justice Annual Convention as Keynote Speaker

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Lance Cooper - Personal Injury Attorney

Lance Cooper speaks at North Carolina Advocates for Justice Annual Convention as Keynote Speaker

Thank you to the North Carolina Advocates for Justice for inviting Lance Cooper to speak at its Annual Convention as the keynote speaker.

Lance spoke on being a trial lawyer in a lunch named “Being a Trial Lawyer: It’s not just a job, it’s an adventure.” During his speech Lance shared on his personal experience in being a trial lawyer for the past twenty years, as well as some of his latest experiences related to the GM ignition switch.

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NHTSA changes early-warning system after DOT reveals flaws in audit

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Marietta product defect attorney

NHTSA changes early-warning system after DOT reveals flaws in audit

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will require automakers to provide more details with tighter scrutiny on its quarterly reports about possible safety defects and crashes.

The U.S. Transportation Department’s Office of Inspector General just released its audit of the federal safety agency, and the findings bruise NHTSA quite a bit. The audit found that the agency’s ability to monitor safety defects was seriously lacking. The findings also revealed that GM’s ignition switch defect was overlooked and ignored since 2003. The defect has now led to recalls of 8.7 million vehicles and is connected to 117 deaths and 237 injuries.

The audit contributes a lot of NHTSA’s failures to poor staff training, lazy collection and analysis of safety defect data, and inconsistency in deciding how to move forward once something is detected. As a result, the DOT’s inspector general gave 17 recommendations for fixing its processes. The agency’s new administrator, Mark Rosekind, who has already set many new reforms for the agency, has committed to implementing all the recommendations by next June.

One of the recommendations includes revamping early-warning reports from automakers. In the past, NHTSA has trusted automakers with the honor system, but the audit shared that the current reports are “of little use” to defect investigators. NHTSA originally started the system after the 2000 TREAD Act which followed the Ford-Firestone tire recalls. The system is meant to help the early detection of safety defects before they become larger threats, but automakers rarely report accurately. In fact, until Honda self-reported that it had failed to report 1,700 death and injury claims in its early-warning reports since 2000, that NHTSA did anything about it.

Rosekind has taken a great deal of action already in improving the agency, but the 17 recommendations from an outside source will better the agency even more. Hopefully NHTSA will be able to handle all the many changes it faces this year and will better protect consumers by being proactive.

If you or someone you know has been injured by a defective product, contact our law offices today for a free consultation.

Will Criminal Charges Bring Justice for GM Victims? – National Legal and Policy Center

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GM Recall Lawyer - The Cooper Firm

Will Criminal Charges Bring Justice for GM Victims? – National Legal and Policy Center

By Mark Modica

To understand how the politically-trained minds at GM think, let’s review the initial statements out of GM when the story of their defective ignition switches first broke. Bear in mind that the public would never have known about the extent of the problem and GM may have continued to cover-up the defect had it not been for an attorney, Lance Cooper, who exposed the details as he represented one of the victims. Following is the statement out of GM regarding accidents attributed to the ignition switch defect from a NY Times piece in February of 2014 as the allegations of a cover-up first surfaced:

“All of these crashes occurred off-road and at high speeds, where the probability of serious or fatal injuries was high regardless of air bag deployment. In addition, failure to wear seat belts and alcohol use were factors in some of these cases,” the statement said.

Read the full story here. 

GM fund approves 3 new death claims to 107 – The Detroit News

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GM Recall Lawyer - The Cooper Firm

GM fund approves 3 new death claims to 107 – The Detroit News

By David Shepardson and Melissa Burden

Georgia attorney Lance Cooper said in an interview last week that some cases are being denied because there is not enough proof the ignition switch defect caused a crash or the injuries or fatalities. His firm has had 20 denials from the fund, including 11 that deaths claims.

“Unfortunately, GM is benefiting to a certain extent from the fact that a lot of these crashes are so old that lots of the evidence is gone,” he said. “And therefore it’s hard for an individual to prove that the ignition switch defect caused their crash and their injuries.”

Cooper believes the death toll will continue to grow. The Cooper Firm in Marietta, Georgia, is still waiting to hear back on 13 claims, including seven that are deaths. He said if the fund denies his clients’ claim and the firm feels it has strong evidence that GM’s ignition switch is involved in fatality, the firm is filing lawsuits.

Read the full story here. 

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Toyota and Nissan expand Takata recall to nearly 6.6 million vehicles

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Air Bag Defect Attorney - The Cooper Firm

Toyota and Nissan expand Takata recall to nearly 6.6 million vehicles

Toyota and Nissan have issued a recall of an additional 6.56 million vehicles with defective Takata airbags.

Toyota’s recall affects 5 million vehicles across the globe including 637,000 in the United States, 1.4 million in Japan and 18,000 in Canada. The recall affects 35 different models including the Corolla, RAV4 and Tundra vehicles manufactured from March 2003 to November 2007. The recall was issued due to the fact that front passenger and driver-side airbags can deploy abnormally or rupture, which can cause greater risk or injury during a crash.

This recall is different than the original recall in which airbags would deploy with too much force sending metal shrapnel into occupants. The original recall affects ten automakers and nearly 30 million vehicles globally. Toyota decided to expand the recall after investigators uncovered moisture problems which could cause the airbags to be “susceptible to abnormal deployment in a crash.”

Nissan issued a smaller recall expansion of 1.56 million vehicles globally for new Takata problem including 326,000 in North America, 563,000 in Europe and 288,000 in Japan. The recall affects the Sentra, Caravan and X-Trail models made from 2004 to 2007. Nissan will test and replace the inflators as needed.

Toyota plans on replacing the driver-side airbags with inflators made by Daicel Corporation. Toyota will still continue to use Takata even though Takata has not been able to keep up with the demand for inflators.

Honda, who has recalled the most vehicles as a result of defective Takata airbags, has not made a decision on whether or not it will expand its recall.

Takata has been fined $14,000 a day by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration since February 20, for allegedly dumping documents on the agency without legally explaining what is in them. Takata is still failing to cooperate with the agency’s investigation.

If you or someone you know has been injured as the result of a defective airbag, call our law offices today for a free consultation.

Source: TIME

Ford Recalls 400,000 Vehicles for Latch Issue

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Safety First - The Cooper Firm

Ford Recalls 400,000 Vehicles for Latch Issue

Ford issued a recall for nearly 400,000 vehicles due to a latch issue, which could cause the door to open while the vehicle is in motion. The recall comes nearly seven months after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation into thousands of Ford vehicles for a latch problem. The door latch may experience a broken pawl spring tab which can cause the door not to latch. As a result, the door can open while the vehicle is in motion increasing the risk of injury.

The recall includes 389,585 model year 2012-2014 Ford Fiesta, model year 2013-2014 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ vehicles. After the initial investigation NHTSA opened, less than two months ago, NHTSA upgraded the investigation to include the Fusion and Lincoln MKZ vehicles. NHTSA also upgraded probe to an engineering analysis. This step often leads to a recall.

Before the recall, NHTSA had received 207 reports related to the latching issue. Out of the reports, 65 reports had claims that the door or doors opened while the vehicle was in motion. Ford has stated that it was aware of the allegations. Since the investigation, Ford has provided NTHSA with 451 additional reports and 1,079 warranty claims related to the latch issue. Ford said that the defective vehicles were produced at plants in Mexico. Out of the recalled vehicles, 86% are registered in the United States. The rest are in Canada and Mexico.

If you own one of these affected vehicles, Ford will replace all four doors free of charge.

If you or someone you know was injured by a defective product or vehicle, contact our law offices today for a free consultation.

***(May 1, 2015) Ford recently expanded the recall to include 156,000 more vehicles.

Source: The Consumerist


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