General Motors, which has been slapped last year for the way it handled a recall of defective ignition switches that were concealed for more than a decade might have to face renewed media war because of a massive trial.
General Motors, the largest US automaker and the third biggest in the world, has just managed a skirmish after it tried – and failed – to stop plaintiffs’ lawyers from releasing information about the string of recalls, ahead of a January trial. The automaker contended the publicity was impacting its chances of having a fair hearing, but a judge recently ruled the public interest in the case was more than enough to set aside the concern. Texas attorney Bob Hilliard, the main lawyer that represents the victims of accidents and car owners seeking trial compensation from the automaker, vowed to release new information “on a rolling basis,” also revealing pre-trial evidence from GM to make up for the company statements that try to minimize corporate responsibility, including the fact that GM’s top officials had no prior knowledge of the faulty parts. “The disturbing documents that now are allowed to be shared will speak for themselves — clearly, unequivocally and loudly,” commented Hilliard in a statement.
GM on its part claimed the only way the company would have unbiased jurors was to block the reveal of trial documents and stopping lawyers such as Hilliard from engaging into “inflammatory” statements. GM was sued by hundreds of victims from accidents linked to the ignition switches that were not included in the victims’ compensation fund the carmaker had established and by a class of car buyers seeking as much as $10 billion in compensation for lost value.