Robert Gerber, the New York bankruptcy judge that has guided General Motors through its 2009 government sponsored bankruptcy process and is now involved in the fallout of the company’s ignition switch debacle, has announced his retirement.
The well-known judge is ready for retirement but the court will not lose his counsel as he is set to remain active in so-called recall status through at least 2015, according to the court’s announcement. The US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York uses the recall status to secure judges technically retired – they can continue to serve for a limited period. With Gerber staying on board through at least 2015, the retirement has little immediate consequences for General Motors, with the No. 1 US automaker returning to his counsel as the company seeks him to enforce the so-called bankruptcy shield.
According to the carmaker – while responsibility for accidents that involve injuries or deaths will not be denied – owners of the cars with recalls for defective ignition switches that have complained about economic losses should take their cases against “Old GM,” the legal entity that retained the liabilities for the period before the bankruptcy. GM has been brought to court in numerous lawsuits that claim billions of dollars in losses – all stemming from the slew of recalls tied to faulty ignition switches.