Will GM bankruptcy affect Georgia suit? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Will GM bankruptcy affect Georgia suit?

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A Terrell County woman paralyzed in a roll over crash in 2006 filed suit against General Motors, but now the suit is in jeopardy of never being heard because of GM's bankruptcy.

45-year-old Shona Scott now has only limited use of her arms and legs since the wreck.

She says her serious injuries are the results of GM's cutbacks when designing the Pontiac that overturned two and a half years ago.

Shona Scott and Daphne Robinson were in a one car crash in Terrell County when their 1994 Pontiac Bonneville left the road at a slow rate of speed struck a ditch and overturned. Scott's attorney's claims it was General Motors cutbacks in the design for the car that led to her life altering injuries, but attorneys for GM says it wasn't the company's fault.

Scott remembers very little from the crash that collapsed the roof of her Pontiac Bonneville. "I remember the car leaving the road. I remember hearing a crash sound and when I came through I couldn't move."

Despite having her seat belt on, her spine was crushed putting her in this wheelchair for the rest of her life. Soon after questions about her car surfaced.

"Somebody re-phased it as I had a 'Friday night' car, and I asked what was that, and they said that's the type of vehicle they put together in a hurry because they're ready to get off.

Her attorney Del Percilla and the Beasley-Allen law firm in Alabama claim the vehicle was a "project 2500 car" in which GM removed some of the steel in the design to save $2,500. GM denies the Bonneville was defective or unreasonable dangerous in their response to the complaint. It passed safety standards, but Shona Scott calls GM irresponsible.

"I was very angry and I still am angry and all I I want my day in court so, I can let the court know and the people know what this product and what them cutting back on materials has done to my life and millions of other people out there."

Scott may not get the chance if her attorney says the bankruptcy case follows Chrysler's model.

 "The template for the whole thing is the Chrysler bankruptcy and substantial portion of the bankruptcy law were ignored by the court putting a stamp of approval on a prepackaged bankruptcy," said Percilla. "Essentially they walked away from all debt all stockholder equity walked away from bond holders."

But Shona Scott is a fighter, she's working again for Albany ARC as a case manager helping others with disabilities and says she'll continue to push for her day in court. "I'm not giving up, I'm not walking away with my hands tied, I'm going to fight."

Daphne Robinson, the driver of the vehicle was also named in the complaint filed by Scott.

Beasley-Allen Attorneys say there are at least 300 other cases filed against GM that remain in limbo as a result of the bankruptcy proceedings. GM is in operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as it seeks to reorganize and shed unwanted assets.

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