MARIETTA, Ga. — General Motors failed to convince a Georgia judge to dismiss a lawsuit over the death of a 29-year-old woman that helped trigger the recall of 2.59 million cars over faulty ignition switches.
Cobb County State Court Judge Kathryn Tanksley rejected GM’s motion to dismiss the revived lawsuit at a hearing Saturday in Marietta, Ga., and set a trial date for April 2016.
The lawsuit, brought by the parents of Brooke Melton, who died in a 2010 crash of a Chevy Cobalt, was settled in September 2013.
The Meltons filed a new complaint in May, claiming General Motors fraudulently had concealed defects in the Cobalt and withheld evidence before the accord was reached.
General Motors contended the Melton suit couldn’t go forward because it was settled. Allowing the new case would mean that anyone could unilaterally redo a settlement, Robert Ingram, GM’s lawyer, said at Saturday’s hearing.
The new Melton case is different because of the fraud allegations, Tanksley said. “We’re plowing new ground,” she said.
The decision gives support to other accident victims hoping to reopen settled ignition-switch cases.