Texas Lawyer Tests GM's Bankruptcy Shield On Behalf Of 156 Plaintiffs

Texas Lawyer Tests GM’s Bankruptcy Shield On Behalf Of 156 Plaintiffs

August 31, 2017

Source: 25 CNBC | July 31, 2014

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas, July 31, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Texas lawyer Bob Hilliard, one of the nation's key players in pursuing claims against General Motors for deaths and injuries caused by faulty ignition switches, filed a lawsuit on behalf of 156 individuals who were injured or killed in GM's defective vehicles.

Unlike Hilliard's filing of July 28th, which involved 658 victims whose accidents occurred after GM emerged from Bankruptcy, and are not subject to GM's bankruptcy defenses, today's filings are solely on behalf of victims who died or suffered injuries prior to GM's filing for Bankruptcy protection due to GM's ignition switch defect, and will have to defeat GM's claims of bankruptcy protection.

Mr. Hilliard's lawsuit is filed in the United States Southern District Court of New York where the General Motors, LLC Ignition Switch Multi District Litigation (MDL) is currently pending and names 20 Plaintiffs who are bringing claims on behalf of individuals who were killed and 136 who were injured.

Today's filing represents pre-bankruptcy death and injury cases that are not eligible to apply for compensation under the Feinberg Plan due to the restrictive nature of the Fund's vehicle qualifications.

Mr. Hilliard says, "GM is not allowing victims of the subsequent 15 million vehicles recalled for defective ignition switch issues to have access to the fund and has told Mr. Feinberg it is restricting eligibility to only the first 2.4 million vehicles recalled. My clients in today's lawsuit were involved in accidents in vehicles that were ultimately recalled by GM for defective ignition switch issues."

"By restricting the fund to the first recall, a very small group of potential claimants, GM sends the clear message that it will not take responsibility for a majority of the victims who have suffered because of GM—the families of the hundreds who have died or the victims who have been severely injured in subsequently recalled defective ignition vehicles whose deaths or injuries occurred prior to 2009."

"General Motors is very publicly and proudly sharpening its Bankruptcy sword and has expressed every intention of wielding it to inflict yet more injury on those whose lives it has already devastated."

Mr. Hilliard goes on to state, "There is a ongoing process beginning in Judge Gerber's bankruptcy court that will ultimately determine if GM will enjoy full bankruptcy protection in the face of the many lives it took and the devastating and permanent injuries it caused. My clients and I trust this process. His Honor, Judge Gerber, who is charged with making this decision, is well respected by both sides and is well suited for weighing all the necessary evidence in order to make his ruling."

"My clients understand GM intends to do everything within its billion-dollar power to prevent their access to the courthouse. If GM has its way, a jury will never be allowed to hear their tragic story."

"I join with the best lawyers in the country to do everything in our power to defeat GM on this crucial issue."

"I again call on Mary Barra to either drop this outrageously unfair bankruptcy dodge, or quit telling the world GM is committed to treating the victims fairly and with compassion."

"GM's brutally callous actions in trying to use its bankruptcy boot to kick these victims off the courthouse steps drown out the hollow and untrue platitudes that its CEO keeps repeating."

"What GM is doing speaks so loudly that the World can no longer hear what Mary Barra says."

Mr. Hilliard has filed a request with Judge Furman to lead the MDL's national personal injury and death litigation.

The case is Edwards, et al. v. General Motors, LLC in the Southern District of New York.

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