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Corporate Cover Up

Corporate Negligence

This is what corporate greed looks like. Be warned. It’s graphic.

Let’s talk about cover-ups. In Arkansas, Linda Jean Hudelson was driving her GM pickup truck. The road was wet, and the truck slid off the road. It hit a tree and exploded. A witness ran over to the truck and saw Linda Jean with “flames coming out of the top of her skull and out of her mouth.” Her grandson was yelling, “Mommy, help me!” He was six. Linda’s baby granddaughter was in the backseat, “her little feet kicking, little hands clawing at air.” A witness later testified, “Have you ever heard an animal that is trapped scream? You don’t ever forget.” That kind of thing happened again and again. In the end, thousands of people burned to death.

Here’s an article from The Center for Auto Safety. On May 21st, 1997, in Carson City, Nevada, an elderly married couple in a 1978 C/K pickup were both instantly immolated when they ran a stop sign at a city intersection and were struck just behind the passenger door by a crossing pickup truck. The fireball resulting from the exploding fuel tank engulfed the other truck as well. And while the 18-year-old driver of the second truck was still conscious when pulled from the burning cab by a witness to the crash, he was burned so severely that his young life ended in a Las Vegas hospital burn unit within the week.

Witnesses to the scene recounted that he lay on the ground and was able to ask, “Why?” three or four times. The answer to that question, of course, could be found not so much in a Nevada intersection, as in Washington, D.C., and GM’s Michigan headquarters. But the answer to that question was being obscured, hidden, covered up.

In my very first trial, the truth came out about that coverup. GM wanted to know if my clients would take $50 million to settle, so the truth would never come out. My client said, “No, it’s not about money.” So the truth did come out.

An engineer at GM had calculated that it was only worth $2.20 to prevent all fuel-fed fires in GM vehicles. He did that analysis to assist GM in figuring out how much to spend on fuel systems. And by the way, it cost more than $2.20 to fix the C/K pickup truck fire defect. Yeah, it’s usually cheaper to pay lawsuits than to fix defects. Remember when I told you about the Koch pipeline explosion? That’s what the manager at Koch Industries said. “We’ll just pay the lawsuits.”

The documents in the GM case were staggering when they came out. There were stories on 60 Minutes, all over the news. But why didn’t they come out earlier? Coverup. It worked for over a decade, and they came this close to covering it up forever. These coverups happen again and again.

Just recently, in regard to a totally different defect, GM was prosecuted by the federal government for fraud and lying to safety regulators. They knew they had a defect. They fixed it for future cars. But they didn’t want to pay for a recall, so they changed the part, but kept the same part number to fool investigators. Over 100 people died, and they almost got away with it. Well, if you ask me, they did get away with it. They just got found out.

Global apex corporations can break the law with impunity, and even kill without any serious punishment. It’s far worse than you suspect because the coverups usually succeed. You only know about the cases where they got caught, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg. So many Americans die each year in ways that would be prosecuted as criminal homicide, except that a corporation does it. So, yes, you’re in physical danger, but that’s not all. They have seized so much more power over you and how you live your life.

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