Dayton Daily News
By Brian J. Panish
January 10, 2000
Richard W. Shapiro, who wrote the Nov. 25 letter to the editor “Perpetuating untruths undermines justice,” was a member of the trial team that defended General Motors in the Anderson case, in which Patricia Anderson, her four children and another passenger were horribly burned when their 1979 Chevrolet Malibu burst into flames after being hit in a rear-end collision
Despite the overwhelming verdict and the statement by the judge denouncing GM’s conduct, Shapiro and GM are still pointing a finger at everyone but themselves. First, they tried to blame the judge, the jurors and the lawyers. General Motors should remember that whenever you try to point a finger at someone else, the other four are pointing at you.
GM executives spent years covering up their conscious decision to put profits over safety, finally getting caught red-handed by their own document and memos
GM calls the jury’s punitive damage award unprecedented. Yet conduct does not get more reprehensible than GM’s. There has never been a case in the United States in which such overwhelming evidence has been introduced illustrating the world’s largest corporation’s reckless and conscious disregard of its consumers. GM wrote off lives and allowed many to suffer ghastly injuries. It’s time it got the message and put safety over profits.
Brian J. Panish
Santa Monica, Calif.
Mr. Panish is lead counsel for the plaintiffs in Anderson vs. General Motors.