After two straight victories in test trials over a deadly ignition switch defect in millions of vehicles, General Motors Co. settled a case that was set set to go before a jury next month, avoiding potentially emotional testimony about the death of a father of five children.

GM’s confidential settlement with the estate of James Yingling III, a young Pennsylvania man whose life was cut short after 17 days in a coma, was revealed Thursday in a letter to U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman in Manhattan.

The trial over Yingling’s death in November 2013 was set to be the third of six bellwether cases, so called because they’re used to test strategies. A jury’s reaction to the evidence may push either side to settle — or battle out — hundreds of other cases and help set the size of any settlements.

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GM Settles In 3rd Wrongful Death Suit Rather Than Go To Court

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