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.