As reported by Law360 (subscription), the trust for General Motors’ unsecured creditors has submitted a new proposal to a New York bankruptcy court containing a revised proposed settlement of the company’s legacy ignition switch lawsuits, under which consumers who claim GM sold them defective vehicles seek class certification for their claims. [Read more…]
As reported by Law360 (subscription), General Motors had the opportunity to fix its defective ignition switches in 2002 — for about $2,000. That’s not a misprint; for about two thousand dollars, the company could have obtained a “stronger ignition switch than the one that ended up costing lives, jobs and a corporate reputation.” But GM decided against it. [Read more…]
As reported by Law360, a former automotive industry engineer testified in a Tuesday bellwether trial that General Motors engineers were forbidden by company policy from utilizing certain terms like “problem” or “bad” (and even terms like “rolling sarcophagus,” which even needing a policy against speaks volumes about issues with the switches themselves) when describing the GM ignition switches. This consequently prevented these engineers from warning officials about the failing ignition switches and product defect.
U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman in Manhattan stated that the arguments General Motors Co. presented for dismissal of the automaker’s faulty ignition switch trial “fail as a matter of law.” As a result of Furman’s refusal to dismiss plaintiffs’ allegations, the first case against GM will proceed to trial, set to begin January 11. [Read more…]
In an article examining the landscape of 2016 automotive product liability defect cases,Law360 spoke with Lieff Cabraser partner Elizabeth Cabraser about the General Motors deadly ignition switch defect cases. The defect, which can cause vehicles to lose power and thus prevent airbags from deploying, has allegedly caused hundreds of deaths and injuries and has affected millions of GM autos. [Read more…]
Attorneys Steve Berman, Bob Hilliard and Elizabeth Cabraser, co-lead counsel in the high-profile, class-action lawsuit against General Motors Co (NYSE: GM) today responded to the $900 million fines levied against the automaker and GM’s admission to concealing a defect that it was required by law to report under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act.
Consumers represented by co-lead counsel Lieff Cabraser and Hagens Berman today filed an expanded class-action complaint against General Motors (NYSE:GM), bringing RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) claims against New GM based on new information from the lawsuit’s discovery phase that indicates New GM committed mail and wire fraud in connection with the ignition switch defect that causes cars to stall unexpectedly and disables the cars’ airbags.
On June 30, 2014, General Motors unveiled a settlement protocol that would compensate persons injured and families of loved ones killed in accidents triggered by the defective ignition switch in millions of its cars. The defect caused the cars to suddenly lose power, often resulting in the driver losing control of the vehicles, as well as disabling the airbags. It has been estimated that over 300 persons may have died in crashes linked to the defective ignition switch.
Last month, General Motors agreed to pay a $35 million fine to settle a probe by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) over its delayed safety recall for failing to report the potentially deadly defect earlier.
General Motors CEO Mary Barra recently told Congress that GM is sorry for the American families whose loved ones were killed or injured by a deadly ignition defect present in millions of GM vehicles. While it is noteworthy that Ms. Barra has now admitted that GM’s conduct has caused numerous deaths and injuries, that was not always GM’s position. In fact, for many years, in courts across the country and to government regulators, GM denied responsibility for deaths and injuries. And, it denied the existence of the deadly defect entirely.