Jim Heller Discusses GM’s Defective Ignition Switch in Fortune Magazine

Thursday, June 5, 2014

In an article titled “Could GM be charged with murder?Jim Heller, chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Products Liability Practice Group, discusses a defective ignition switch in millions of General Motors’ cars that has led to at least 13 deaths since 2001. The Department of Transportation has fined the automaker $35 million for inaction regarding the switches, and the Department of Justice may impose an even bigger fine on the automaker. Given that people died as a result of the defect, could the U.S. government opt to charge GM with murder too?

Jim offers his opinion by stating “that charging GM with manslaughter would not be a particularly effective strategy. This is probably better handled in the civil lawsuits.” He continues to say that there is “a lot of pressure on the DOJ to act not only [swiftly] but forcefully.” He expects that though no criminal charges will be filed, the fines will be significant.

To read the article, click here.


James H. Heller

Co-Chair, Commercial Litigation Department
Chair, Product Liability


(215) 665-2189


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