Jeremy Warriner and his daughter Maddie
A protest was held outside Chrysler’s headquarters yesterday as a group of people who were injured or have lost loved ones due to unsafe and defective Chrysler vehicles, rallied together.
The group expressed outrage that the new Chrysler is exempt from responsibility for fatalities and injuries caused by defective vehicles built by the company prior to the bankruptcy. GM, however, has agreed to accept liability for future injuries and deaths caused by "old GM" vehicles that occur after the bankruptcy.
While attempting to deliver a letter to Sergio Marchionne, Chrysler’s new CEO and members of the board of directors, the group was stopped at a security checkpoint. The letter was left with the head of Chrysler Security who promised it would reach the appropriate people.
The group all shared compelling stories:
Christina Cattalano, from St. Claire, Michigan, lost her mother when a Chrysler minivan “self-shifted” into reverse. Cattalano feels her constitutional rights have been stripped from her by not being able to sue Chrysler for what was found to be a transmission defect, according to an engineer hired by her attorney.
The company is not “sympathetic to the people they’ve killed,” said Cattalano.
Jeremy Warriner, from Indiana, lost both his legs when his Jeep Wrangler slammed into a utility pole and he was pinned in the car as fluid leaked from the car’s plastic brake fluid container burning his legs. Warriner claims the fire that broke out in his vehicle was “Chrysler’s fault.”
In response to Warriner's accident, Congressman Andre Carson has introduced H.R. 3088, the Jeremy Warriner Consumer Protection Act, which would require any auto manufacturer who receives federal funding, either through ownership or through loans (currently only Chrysler and GM), to purchase liability insurance that will cover any pending claims from the "old companies" and any future claims. If passed into law, this could help people with pending claims. You can read more about Jeremy on his blog Walking Spirit.
Under the rules of Chrysler’s bankruptcy, there are 30 million or more Chrysler vehicles on the road that don’t provide protection against death or injury caused by defects.
Several of the victims contend that even more than wanting personal compensation, they simply want Chrysler to admit it has cars on the road with dangerous defects. They don’t want anybody else to suffer what they have suffered. They want the defects fixed by Chrysler.
A statement released by Chrysler yesterday said, that its bankruptcy has required painful concession from all parities including unsecured tort claimants. You can read the statement in its entirety on the ABC News Web site. #