A motion for removal was filed against the leadership lawyers of litigation cases against General Motors over its faulty ignition switch, because of their failure in the first federal trial.
Lance Cooper, who represents other plaintiffs ever GM’s defective ignition switches, asked a US judge to remove three lawyers from their leadership roles, saying their long series of poor decisions and mismanagement were affecting resolution of other hundreds of lawsuits against the automaker. Those three attorneys were selected by US District Judge Jesse Furman in Manhattan federal court to lead consolidated litigation over the switch, which involves claims for injuries, deaths and lost vehicle value. The first federal trial came to an early end after the plaintiff voluntarily dismissed his case, also agreeing not to take any compensation from the automaker. The unexpected outcome came in the wake of allegations that the claimants, the Scheuer family, may have given false testimony to jurors. Cooper’s motion said that lead counsel picked Scheuer to go to trial first, rather than another plaintiff with a stronger case, in order to retain as much control as possible over the litigation, as well as the resulting fees.
The largest US automaker recalled 2.59 million small cars in 2014 to replace the faulty ignition switch, which has been linked to at least 124 deaths. GM has already paid roughly 2 billion dollars in legal settlements and penalties in connection with the switch, and has previously admitted that some of its employees knew about the part’s problems for years before the recall. A second federal trial is scheduled for March in a case selected by GM.