The process of settling the plethora of lawsuits stemming from General Motors' ignition switch recall has begun in earnest, as GM lawyer Kenneth Feinberg met with Robert Hilliard, an attorney for some 300 people and families affected by the recall.
The pair met in Feinberg's Washington, D.C. office on Friday for a preliminary meeting which Hilliard told Reuters, appeared to be intended "to convince me they (GM) were going to do right," by people injured or killed due to GM's handling of the faulty ignition switch problem. The pair didn't come to an agreement on financial details.
As for what that means, Hilliard seems to think GM will assume responsibility for all accidents that caused injury or death, regardless of whether they happened before or after the company's 2009 bankruptcy deal. This would be a sea change from the defense GM has maintained since the outset of this crisis - that the company wasn't liable for events that transpired before it emerged from bankruptcy as "New GM." Feinberg wouldn't comment for Reuters' story.
GM may still retain the bankruptcy defense in cases that don't result in accidents, death or injury. According to Reuters, it's asked Judge Robert Gerber, the same man that handled the company's 2009 bankruptcy, to prevent cases involving plaintiffs that are simply trying make money, like those arguing that the recall has affected their car's resale value.