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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    First GM Ignition Switch Trial Is Dismissed

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      The first Bellwether Trial against GM has come to an abrupt end

    The first bellwether trial against General Motors over the faulty ignition switch has come to abrupt end. The plaintiff, Robert Scheuer has voluntarily dismissed his lawsuit against the automaker according to a filing in Manhattan federal court today.

     

    Scheuer accused GM of concealing a defect in the ignition switch that caused the airbags in his 2003 Saturn Ion to not deploy when he crashed into two trees in Oklahoma in May 2014. The accident caused injuries to Scheuer's back and neck.

     

    As we reported in December, GM tried to dismiss the case. However, U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman said the plaintiff had provided sufficient evidence to bring the case to trial.

     

    So why was the case dismissed? To understand fully, we need to look at one of the claims made by Scheuer. He claims the crash caused memory loss and, in turn, caused him to misplace a $49,500 check for a down payment on a house in Tulsa, OK. This caused Scherer's family to be evicted from the house.

     

    But paperwork filed by GM's lawyers earlier this week tell a much different story. They have found evidence that Scheuer committed check fraud when buying the house. A real estate agent found Scheuer faked a check stub totaling $441,430.72 from his federal government retirement account as a “proof of funds”. The check stub originally totaled $430.72 before the changes took place.

     

    GM lawyer Richard Godfrey said in the filing suggests that Scheuer "misled his own counsel, as well as the court and the jury.” GM asked Judge Jesse Furman to present the evidence and bring two witnesses; the real estate agent and a forensic technology expert.

     

    “We are assessing GM’s allegations about a situation we were unaware of,” Robert Hilliard, the lawyer representing Scheuer told Bloomberg earlier this week.

     

    On Thursday, Furman granted GM permission to present this new evidence to the jury. Furman also said the new evidence would be “devastating,” making the suit “almost worthless as a bellwether case.” Furman urged the two parties to consider dismissing the case.

     

    “The apparent lies the plaintiff and his wife told the jury ended the trial early, and we are pleased that the case is over without any payment whatsoever to Mr. Scheuer,” GM spokesman Jim Cain said in a statement.

     

    Scheuer and his wife have hired criminal defense lawyers.

     

    The dismissal of this case is unlikely to affect other cases against. What it will do is make it slightly harder to determine the value of similar claims.

     

    Source: Bloomberg (2), Reuters

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    Those that think the days of companies settling out to make a fast buck on fraud is over. I hope GM holds to weeding out these idiots.

     

    This is not to say that some of the victims of the ignition issue are not valid and deserve fair compensation.

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    Good job GM. Don't let that POS take your money. I love that GM didn't just take the easy route of settling out of court. 

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    I was hoping this got tossed as I read up on this case and it stunk from the start. 

     

    I wager the other cases are not any better but will GM has the dirt to prove it? 

     

    I find it fascinating how on so many of these cased I have looked at that there was so much more than the media would tell you. 

     

    As far as I am concerned GM should make this guy pay their legal fees. 

     

    I wish more companies could fight back with out being trashed in the media when they have a legitimate case to fight back. 

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    I think you guys are being way too generous to GM. This may be a case where someone was trying to take advantage of the situation as a whole, but in the legit ones, GM needs it's ass handed to it.

     

    And on a side note, Takata just needs to be shut the f@#k down.

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    I think you guys are being way too generous to GM. This may be a case where someone was trying to take advantage of the situation as a whole, but in the legit ones, GM needs it's ass handed to it.

     

    And on a side note, Takata just needs to be shut the f@#k down.

    Well, Ill agree to that sentiment about GM's ass being handed to it only on the the aspect of when GM tried to cover up their cheapening of the part.

     

    NOT in situations like this court case...

     

    Same with Takata.

     

    But, not to be shut down...

    if THAT were the case, then Ford, GM, Chrysler, BMW, Honda, Subaru, Toyota, Mercedes Benz, VW and others along with General Electric, Apple, Microsoft, Intel, Sony, EXXON, ENRON, Goldman and SACHs among a helluva alot of others have commited fraud, theft, pollution, death etc...should also be shut down...

     

    I mean, that would be roughly about 99.999% of ALL corporations world wide...where would we go from there?

     

    Ive said it before, and Ill say it again...it is NOT the company as a whole that should pay the price, just the people involved with the scandals...

     

    The big wigs should rot in prison, because although Im a Greek Orthodox Christian, I somehow sometimes dont believe there is a God so them rotting in hell might not exist...so..rot in prison, but the good people that are still left in the corporate businesses they represent that were NOT involved should be allowed to run the companies...because the companies themselves are still responsible for millions of people...and the products they produce are still important for our lives...

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    I think a lot of corporate attorneys learned just how much fraud there is out there after the BP debacle. Yes, there are some legitimate plaintiffs that have actual damages and harm. But once you start to create a matrix of quality control for reviewing every case filed against you and red flags are found in the file, then, as Patrick Swayze would say in 'Road House', "it's time to not be nice."

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    Well in the book What Did Jesus Drive it lays out why companies settle. 

     

    Some cases it is because even if they win they will spend more than they could settle for. In other cases it is because even if they win the media paints them into a major PR mess that makes them look bad even if they did nothing wrong. It also outlines the case of the Ford, Firestone deal. If it were not for a joint family issue between the Ford and Firestone family Ford would have gone after Firestone. As it was the Family told those running the company not to toss them under the bus even with no Firestone family members at the company yet, 

    They all know there is a lot of fraud out there but few ever believe the large evil companies are ever right so  even in the cases where they are they have to use caution to make sure they are not painted evil just by sticking up for themselves. 

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    Figured this case would go that way...too many people chasing that buck...

     

     

    I figure there are VERY few cases where this might have actually caused a death....

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