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GM Settles Second Ignition Suit Over Death of Brooke Melton in Cobalt Crash

Brooke Melton's parents accused the automaker of hiding evidence when they settled their previous lawsuit.

General Motors has settled a second lawsuit filed by the parents of a Georgia woman who was killed in a 2010 car crash and who claimed the automaker concealed evidence about ignition problems in Chevy Cobalts before settling their earlier case, the couple's attorney said.

Brooke Melton, 29, was killed when her car lost power on a rain-slicked highway and slid into an oncoming car. Her parents said they found a mechanical flaw allowed the key to slip from the "on" to the "accessory" position, shutting off her power steering and power brakes. In September 2013, they settled with GM for $5 million, and five months later, GM recalled 2.6 million vehicles, including the Cobalt.

The Meltons refiled their suit in May, alleging that a key GM witness had committed perjury in their suit and the company hid evidence about the faulty ignition switches. GM tried and failed to get the lawsuit dismissed. The settlement announced Friday is confidential, the couple's lawyers said in a statement.

"One of the most important issues for the Meltons was accountability. This is a company that concealed this defect for years. They wanted to hold GM accountable, and that is what refiling the lawsuit did," the Meltons' lawyer, Lance Cooper, said. "They are grieving parents who simply wanted the truth and for no one else to suffer a similar loss."

GM — which has told federal regulators that it knew of problems with its ignition switches as early as 2001 —confirmed the case has been resolved but had no further comment.


— Tracy Connor