By: Ashley Page
In the last blog of our GM series, we brought you the story of
Shara Lynn Towne, a 37-year-old mother of five children. This week we want to bring you
the story of 16-year-old Amber Marie Rose. Amber was born in Maryland
and was raised by her adoptive mother Terry DiBattista. In 2005, Amber
was reunited with her birth mother Laura Christian. Ms. Christian described
herself as overjoyed to be in her daughter's life once again.
On a July night in 2005, Amber was driving home late at night. She had
fought with her boyfriend, left a party, and was drunk. She was speeding
and was not wearing her seatbelt when she crashed into a tree. She struck
the steering column with such powerful force that it was destroyed. A
police officer investigating the accident that occurred in Dentsville,
Maryland called Amber's adoptive mother, Ms. DiBattista. He told her
to dig deeper into the details surrounding Amber's death.
What else was there to learn? Many people would have seen this accident
as entirely Amber's fault because she was drunk, speeding, and driving
without her seatbelt fastened. What Ms. DiBattista learned was that even
though Amber caused the accident, she should not have died. If the defective
ignition switch had been working properly, then the airbags would have
deployed on impact. With proper airbag deployment, Amber likely would
have survived the accident with severe injuries.
Amber's family filed suit against GM, and despite the fact that Amber
caused the accident GM chose to pay the family a settlement for a confidential
amount in 2006. Ms. DiBattista believes that the company knew of the defective
ignition switch then, but chose to keep it quiet for as long as they could
possibly get away with it. Amber's birth mother, Ms. Christian, describes
the one year that she spent with Amber as perfect, though she was devastated
to lose her so quickly after their reunion.
At Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., we believe that large
manufacturers should not be able to hide defects in their cars just because
they have the money to pay off families. It is the diligent work of personal
injury lawyers , who despite all the challenges presented, pursued the
case, and learned that it was actually this defective ignition switch
which caused Amber's wrongful death.
We represent victims who have been injured in car accidents due to product
defects, including tire defects, and automobile parts defects, or manufacturer's
negligence. If you have suffered an injury at the hands of an car manufacturer
please do not hesitate to contact our Maryland car accident lawyers.