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Auto workers may not face charges for faulty switches

General Motors put out many vehicles with faulty ignition switches, something that really came to light last year and led to a ton of recalls by the auto maker. It was big news from Texas to California to New York, as people were dying in accidents.

Now, a criminal lawsuit is being started that focuses on GM, trying to hold the company responsible for those deaths. However, loopholes in the law--which were crafted with the insistence of the car companies--could make it so that individual workers who were involved do not face prosecution, as they cannot be charged with crimes in cases like these.

This is true even if those workers helped to cover up the issues before the recall, potentially leading to more deadly crashes. Those who are starting the suit have said that's exactly what many of these workers did.

The law still does leave the door open for civil lawsuits, though. These workers could be taken to court by family members who are seeking damages after the loss of a loved one, for instance, or people who were hurt in accidents caused by those workers' actions.

This doesn't just mean that factory workers who were involved in putting the cars together can't be prosecuted. The laws may also help to protect people at the corporate and executive level who may have tried to keep knowledge of the issues from getting out sooner than it eventually did.

Those who have been injured or lost family members need to know how these laws work so that they know just what legal options they have.

Source: Newser, "Workers Who Hid GM Issue Might Get Off Scot-Free," Arden Dier, July 20, 2015

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