CORPUS CHRISTI , Texas (August 26, 2015) This morning Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas' Judge Philip Anthony Ignelzi granted Lakisha Marie Ward-Green's Petition of Post-Conviction Relief and in doing so overturned her involuntary manslaughter and reckless driver conviction.
On September 3, 2010 Ms. Ward-Green was driving Robert Chambers, home from school in her 2007 Chevy Cobalt, when the ignition suddenly went into the accessory position, causing her to lose power steering and braking. The vehicle left the Pittsburgh roadway and slammed into a pole, instantly killing 16-year-old Robert Chambers. The airbags in the Cobalt did not deploy.
Ms. Ward-Green' s attorney Bob Hilliard, a Texas lawyer and one of the nation's key players in the pursuit of claims against GM, together with Pennsylvania attorney Victor Pribanic put on 3 hours of testimony supporting the request. Hilliard argued that the 2007 Cobalt's defective ignition switch caused Ms. Green to lose control of her vehicle and the failure of the airbags to deploy in a violent head-on collision caused the death of Robert Chambers.
Hilliard states "Once again GM has allowed an innocent customer to suffer a criminal conviction. " Today we have achieved justice for Lakisha Ward-Green who, along with all of GM's customers was lied to. An innocent woman was convicted of involuntary manslaughter only because GM's sole concern was hiding its own evil conduct even if it meant Lakisha would go to jail". Ms. Green served 3 months in jail in Allegheny County.
Similarly, in December 2014 Mr. Hilliard successfully obtained an innocent finding as to Candice Anderson, convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Gene Mikale Erickson. Almost ten years ago Candice Anderson lost control of her 2004 Saturn ION while driving down a county road in East Texas in the middle of the day. Candice's fiance, Gene Mikale Erickson was her passenger that day and died when their vehicle left the roadway and collided, head-on, into a nearby grove of trees. Both Candice and Mikale's airbags failed to deploy due to the sub-standard ignition switch GM knowingly installed in millions of vehicles across the country. GM counts Mikale's death as one of the 13 confirmed fatalities linked to the faulty ignition switch.