Candice Anderson who pled guilty to a criminal charge in a 2004 crash that killed her fiance is suing General Motors Co.  Anderson was driving a 2004 Saturn Ion in 2004 when the car suddenly veered off a road and ran into a tree in Van Zandt County, Texas.  Her fiance, Gene Mikale Erikson, 25, was killed.  Anderson, who was 21 at the time, was severely injured.

Because there were no skid marks in the road, authorities concluded that Anderson was at fault and charged her with negligent homicide.  She pled guilty, also believing she was at fault, and was sentenced to 5 years, deferred, and 260 hours of community service.  She was required to pay for Erikson’s funeral and $2,500 in court costs.

The lawsuit alleges that the faulty GM ignition switch was the cause of the crash and that the switch slipped out of run, knocking out steering and brakes and disabling the air bags.  GM knew about the bad switches and failed to disclose the problem publicly.

“She pled guilty to criminally negligent homicide and spent years wracked with guilt…” her attorney said in a statement.

GM has admitted to knowing about the switch problem more than 10 years before publicly disclosing it and that it was responsible for at least 50 crashes and 13 deaths.  GM did not recall any affected vehicles until February of last year.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the government’s road safety watchdog, confirmed that the crash in Anderson’s case was caused by a bad switch, “For the first time in 10 years, Ms. Anderson’s burden of guilt has been lifted.”

Erikson’s mother and two daughters are also parties in the lawsuit.  Anderson will also seek to clear her record.


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