Bob Hilliard, appointed to lead the nation's personal injury and death litigation against GM, announced today that he has issued a subpoena to King & Spalding, the law firm who defended many of the GM ignition switch personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits across the country. The subpoena requests internal memos and communications between King & Spalding and General Motors related to those cases.
Mr. Hilliard states, "King & Spalding was on the verge of having to argue against turning over these communications down in Georgia in the Melton case when GM suddenly swept in and settled the case. This is the second time GM blinked in Melton. First, they paid $5 million on the eve of Jim Federico's deposition, then, when the lawsuit is re-filed, based on allegations of fraud and discovery begins regarding these vital lawyer communications GM shuts it down with money, again."
"Hopefully soon the curtain will be pulled back and if the lawyers were involved in strategic decisions designed to keep the full extent of the defect from the public's eye, either by quick and confidential settlements of defective ignition switch cases or aggressive Rambo-type litigation tactics to intimidate victims from proceeding to trial, then that strategy and that advice should be examined. GM hid the ignition defect for a decade, if it used its counsel to actively advance the cover up and by so doing more deaths and injuries resulted, then there may be fraud at many levels."
"Though communications by and between counsel and client are generally privileged, that privilege is not absolute - the Courts recognize that the single most sacrosanct pillar of justice is preventing and ferreting out all co-conspirators in a fraudulent, illegal and deadly cover-up. There is no impenetrable shield created by a law license if that license is used to further a fraudulent conspiracy. Could the GM lawyers have helped save some of these young lives by speaking up? If so, what is the consequence of their prolonging by years this senseless national tragedy? "