US Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut, is echoing the call of safety advocates in requesting that the Justice Department create a compensation fund for those killed or injured behind the wheel of General Motors vehicles with faulty ignition switches.

Blumenthal, pictured above, wrote to US Attorney General Eric Holder and called for the DoJ to "immediately intervene on behalf of those injured and killed and all who suffered damages as a result of faulty ignition switches," according to a new report from The Detroit News.

At least 12 deaths are attributed to the problem and there have been 31 accidents blamed on defective ignition switches that were inadvertently turned from the "run" position to the "accessory" or "off" position, a process that disables the steering, anti-lock brakes and airbags.

Blumenthal's comments follow those of Clarence Ditlow and Joan Claybrook, two safety advocates that have already called on GM to create a $1-billion trust fund to compensate crash victims. GM has so far claimed it's not liable for company actions that transpired prior to its bankruptcy, a defense brought about by the terms of its bailout agreement.

"There are certain cases where liabilities prior to bankruptcy – I don't know the right word – they're with the previous company," GM CEO Mary Barra said. This "Old GM" position has been one of the most contentious of this entire ordeal. Blumenthal even called it out in his letter to Holder, requesting that the DoJ "oppose any effort by GM to deny responsibility for consumer damages."

This isn't Blumenthal's first push against "New GM" immunity - The Detroit News reports that in 2009, the then-attorney general of Connecticut led seven other attorneys general against a measure that would protect the new company from the actions of its bankrupt forbearer.

GM remains in hot water with federal authorities, with the DoJ conducting a criminal investigation into the handling of the recall. The big question seems to be whether GM committed bankruptcy fraud by failing to disclose the faulty ignition switches. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is also looking into the ignitions, which GM has known about since 2001, while Barra is set to testify before a House of Representatives subcommittee next week.


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  • 47 Comments
      Enzo
      • 9 Months Ago
      More dangerous than being in a speeding car, is being between US Senator Richard Blumenthal and a camera. If nobody has figured it out yet, US Senator Richard Blumenthal is just a media hound and will be happy to speak up on non-sense as long as it will get him camera time but if you look at his record, he has done nothing of real substance.
      George
      • 9 Months Ago
      They actually just settled.
      churchmotor
      • 9 Months Ago
      Every bonus given to GM executive, engineers, UAW workers, should be taken back and used to fund this!
      flammablewater
      • 9 Months Ago
      Can we make the bailed out banks create victims' funds to give money back to the people they stole it from?
        normc32
        • 9 Months Ago
        @flammablewater
        What about those that dies when Toyotas accelerated out of control?
          Slizzo
          • 9 Months Ago
          @normc32
          You mean because the drivers were idiots?
          fran
          • 9 Months Ago
          @normc32
          Toyota was never bailed out for bankruptcy by any bank let alone an American bank. Read his comment again and try getting out of your basement more often.
      Blake
      • 9 Months Ago
      Wonder how the "Government Motors" trolls will react to this one
      owen brown
      • 9 Months Ago
      Guess who is really going to fund that account? It sure as hell won't be GM.
      owen brown
      • 9 Months Ago
      Your obsession with Toyota is amazing. I bet instead of counting sheep you count the Toyota logo at night.
      Teleny411
      • 9 Months Ago
      Those good ol capitalists who we should trust to pay a living wage & keep safe working conditions without a union-because they are such moral people who do the right thing out of the goodness of their golden parachute hearts. :)
      Zaki
      • 9 Months Ago
      Victims...?..... That would mean all the tax payers that bailed out GM ! .... Somehow it just feels wrong that a company that exists only because of government intervention on its behalf, via tax payer dollars, should have a CEO that is paid like a rock star. Feels like a slap on the face of the hard working American man and woman.
      ngiotta
      • 9 Months Ago
      Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Sen. Blumenthal the same guy who thinks guns are magical killing machines that fire on their own accord?
        thequebecerinfrance
        • 9 Months Ago
        @ngiotta
        Right, compare an object that exist solely to kill to an object used for transportation.
        Slizzo
        • 9 Months Ago
        @ngiotta
        Yeah, wish he would have stayed as AG, or just retired.
      cbamft
      • 9 Months Ago
      Mary Barra's quote doesn't inspire confidence in her leadership abilities.
        jameshouk
        • 9 Months Ago
        @cbamft
        Actually it is meant to inspire the stockholder which are the people that really matters.
      carboy55
      • 9 Months Ago
      Can I be immune from any infractions committed prior to my divorce? At what point did a bankruptcy become a "do-over" for a corporation's willfully negligent and morally reprehesible behavior?
        XT6Wagon
        • 9 Months Ago
        @carboy55
        how many politicians do you own?
        threefortyduster
        • 9 Months Ago
        @carboy55
        The reason it is an issue is because, technically, the old GM is dead. The new GM is a newly formed entity that was created during the bankruptcy process, where the assets were transferred to the new company, and the liabilities were left with "old GM." It's all crap, but it is the way it was laid out and approved.
          George
          • 9 Months Ago
          @threefortyduster
          Precisely. Like it or not, that is how it legally works. Blumenthal is too dumb to understand it ... or, more likely for him and his ilk, thinks that the laws of the land bend when you drum up enough medial wind.
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