Rally outside GM headquarters before annual shareholder's meetin - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Rally outside GM headquarters before annual shareholder's meeting

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DETROIT (WJBK) - They were small in numbers but their stories make a huge impact in the case against General Motors.

Demonstrators and relatives who lost loved ones because of GM's ignition switch defect stood in the shadow of Detroit's Renaissance Center, GM world headquarters, with a message for shareholders.

"Is this a company you really want to own shares of? In the end I think GM needs to be held criminally liable," says Laura Christian of Maryland.

She lost her daughter Amber in a 2005 crash where an airbag did not deploy. She says Amber was not wearing a seatbelt and was coming from a party she was not permitted to attend but the airbag could have saved her, and she believes there are a lot more than just 13 deaths.

"I personally have 120 documented to date. I mean, that's just what I have. At first, I was doing research and finding them and then now, through my GM Recall Survivor's Facebook page, people are finding me," says Christian.

Ken Rimer of Wisconsin says he lost his 18-year-old daughter Natasha in another crash where her 15-year-old friend Amy Rademaker also died, but he says GM only counts the accident as one fatality.

Other demonstrators are supporting injured auto workers who lost their jobs in Columbia and held signs urging GM to emerge from "moral bankruptcy."

The company has said it will compensate victims' families in a program expected to start in August.

"I know that if I was responsible for the deaths of 13 people in vehicles, that I couldn't say, 'Well that was the old Frank Hammer. This is the new Frank Hammer; don't hold me liable.' There are more than 13 deaths. GM must accept this liability and must compensate victims fairly," Frank Hammer, a retired GM worker.

Another rally is planned for 8 a.m. Tuesday, the day the shareholders will actually meet.

FOX 2's Robin Schwartz was told family members of another victim who just died recently, after the recall was made public, will be there to speak.

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