Lead Counsel Responds to Bankruptcy Court’s Ruling Allowing Plaintiffs’ Claims to Proceed in Defective Ignition Switch Litigation Against General Motors

Judge rules claims against new GM to proceed, if misconduct found

SEATTLE – Attorneys from Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, co-lead counsel representing owners of millions of recalled vehicles in nationwide litigation against General Motors Co., responded to the bankruptcy court’s ruling concerning New GM’s liability in the class-action lawsuit.

“We are pleased that Judge Gerber will allow claims to proceed against New GM if misconduct by New GM was involved in this series of massive recalls. We believe that New GM’s misconduct was in fact present in the sale of millions of defective vehicles – a truth that we believe New GM knew and chose to conceal,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman and co-lead counsel representing plaintiffs in nationwide litigation against GM.

Berman added, “In addition we will appeal Judge Gerber’s ruling that claims versus New GM for Old GM’s misconduct are barred. It cannot be the law that Old GM could hide the defects, and subsequently use the bankruptcy court as a shield. As Judge Gerber agreed, due process required that Old GM give notice to owners of cars with defects, and consumers did not get notice. The law must provide a remedy.”

The litigation against GM involves defective ignition switches that can cause a car to inadvertently switch off while in operation. The defect causes the car to stall, and also disables airbags and other electrical features integral to safety, such as power steering and power brakes. According to attorneys at Hagens Berman, evidence overwhelmingly shows that “Old GM” was aware of the deadly defect for years before the bankruptcy, but chose not to conduct a safety recall and concealed its knowledge of the defect from regulators and consumers. New GM continued the cover-up for years before finally issuing recalls beginning in February of 2014.

“We also may challenge Gerber’s decision to avoid review by Judge Furman who as the MDL judge should have a chance to weigh in on an issue that affects such a vast number of consumers,” Berman said.

Additional information about the suit, including a list of affected vehicles is available at www.hbsslaw.com/cases/general-motors.


About Hagens Berman
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP is a consumer-rights class-action law firm with offices in nine cities. The firm has been named to the National Law Journal’s Plaintiffs’ Hot List eight times. More about the law firm and its successes can be found at www.hbsslaw.com. Follow the firm for updates and news at @ClassActionLaw.

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