Allegations from both sides in the first trial over GM’s faulty ignition switches image

A family suing General Motors in the first trial over the massive ignition switch scandal has hired a criminal defense attorney after the carmaker accused them of false statements.

The first trial over General Motors’ deadly ignition-switch flaw has been brought to Court by an Oklahoma family who claims the defect disabled the airbag in their car during an accident in 2014. Robert Scheuer and his wife will be represented by two criminal defendants, a move prompted by a motion from the automaker submitted on Monday, claiming the Scheuers may have given false testimony to jurors about the circumstances surrounding their eviction from their home months after Robert said he was injured in an accident involving a car affected by the faulty switch recall.

Scheuer’s lawsuit accuses GM of concealing the defect, which has been linked to nearly 400 injuries and deaths. He says he suffered physical and emotional damages as a result of a 2014 car crash in which his air bags failed to deploy, allegedly due to the switch, causing him to misplace a $49,500 check for a down payment on the house. GM’s lawyers said they uncovered evidence that the Scheuer family were evacuated because a real estate agent found Scheuer faked a $441,430.72 check stub from his federal government retirement account as “proof of funds” to close the sale. If successful, GM’s motion may damage the credibility of a key player in an ongoing trial over the switch, which is the subject of several hundred lawsuits. Scheuer’s civil lawyer Robert Hilliard called GM’s request a bid to shift focus away from the deadly defect.

Via Reuters/Bloomberg