GM to ask bankruptcy court for lawsuit protection - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

GM to ask bankruptcy court for lawsuit protection

Posted: Updated:

DETROIT (AP) - General Motors revealed in court filings late Tuesday that it will soon ask a federal bankruptcy judge to shield the company from legal claims for conduct that occurred before its 2009 bankruptcy.

The automaker's strategy is in a motion filed in a Corpus Christi, Texas, federal court case, and in other cases across the nation that involve the defective ignition switches that have led GM to recall 2.6 million small cars.

The motion asks U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos to delay action on the lawsuit until the bankruptcy court rules and other federal courts decide if the case should be combined with other lawsuits. But GM says it's not asking to halt action on a motion to force GM to tell customers not to drive their cars that are being recalled.

GM has said at least 13 deaths have been linked to the switch problem. The switch can unexpectedly slip out of the "run" position, shutting down the engine, knocking out power-assisted steering and power brakes, and disabling the air bags. GM admits knowing about the problem for at least a decade, but it didn't start recalling the cars, including Chevrolet Cobalts and Saturn Ions, until February.

The company's motion says GM will ask the bankruptcy court in New York to enforce an order made during the 2009 bankruptcy case that split GM into a new company and an old company. Claims from before the bankruptcy would go to "Old GM," called Motors Liquidation Co., while claims after the bankruptcy would go to the new General Motors Co.

"Just like the other 'ignition switch actions' that other plaintiffs have filed in the wake of public reports regarding the outstanding recall, this case relates to a vehicle designed, manufactured, originally sold and advertised by Old GM," the company's motion says.

GM's motion says more than 30 cases have been filed against the company since February.

With the motion, GM is trying to limit its legal liability in the cases while at the same time it considers compensation for families of crash victims. GM has hired Kenneth Feinberg - who handled the fund for the victims of 9/11, the Boston Marathon bombing and the BP oil spill - to explore ways to compensate victims. No decision has been made.

Attorney Robert Hilliard filed the Texas lawsuit on behalf of Charles and Grace Silvas. It claims they are stuck with a defective 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt and seeks repairs, compensation for loss of value and alternative transportation.

Hilliard called GM's motion to send the case to the bankruptcy court a "long shot" and accused GM CEO Mary Barra of directing lawyers to hide behind the bankruptcy. He said he expects a ruling soon on the request for an order for GM to tell owners to keep the recalled cars off the road.

GM has said owners can continue safely using the cars if precautions are taken.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

  • More From wfmj.comMore>>

  • US: Russia 'created the conditions' for shoot-down

    US: Russia 'created the conditions' for shoot-down

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 8:41 PM EDT2014-07-23 00:41:12 GMT
    The Obama administration said Tuesday it would present data from the U.S. intelligence community laying out what's known about the Malaysia Airlines plane that was shot down in Ukraine.More >>
    Senior U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday that Russia was responsible for "creating the conditions" that led to the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, but they offered no evidence of direct Russian...More >>
  • Airlines ban flights to Israel after rocket strike

    Airlines ban flights to Israel after rocket strike

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:42 PM EDT2014-07-22 23:42:54 GMT
    Israel bombed five mosques, a sports stadium and the home of the late Hamas military chief across the Gaza Strip early Tuesday, a Gaza police official said, as the U.N. chief and the U.S. secretary of state...More >>
    A Hamas rocket exploded Tuesday near Israel's main airport, prompting a ban on flights from the U.S. and many from Europe and Canada as aviation authorities responded to the shock of seeing a civilian jetliner shot...More >>
  • Ohio fair's butter cows named Scarlet and Grayce

    Ohio fair's butter cows named Scarlet and Grayce

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:51 PM EDT2014-07-22 22:51:37 GMT
    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Scarlet and Grayce. Those are the names of the traditional butter sculptures of a cow and calf at this year's Ohio State Fair. The names announced Tuesday by fair officials after a naming contest on Twitter are a play on the Ohio State University colors, scarlet and gray. Also presented Tuesday were other Ohio icons carved from butter, including a whitetail deer, paw paw fruit, carnation and spotted salamander. Two sculptors worked on this year's creations, crafting the...More >>
    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Scarlet and Grayce. Those are the names of the traditional butter sculptures of a cow and calf at this year's Ohio State Fair. The names announced Tuesday by fair officials after a naming contest on Twitter are a play on the Ohio State University colors, scarlet and gray. Also presented Tuesday were other Ohio icons carved from butter, including a whitetail deer, paw paw fruit, carnation and spotted salamander. Two sculptors worked on this year's creations, crafting the...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms