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.


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  • 15 Comments
      mikemaj82
      • 7 Months Ago
      Lot of ignorance in this thread. Wow.
      pwr2lbs
      • 7 Months Ago
      So.... How much do you feel your loved one was worth in fiat currency?
      Revis Goodworth
      • 7 Months Ago
      Just remember that this lying company has a slushfund of $14 billion of taxpayer money it never paid back - I assume that the generosity of this disgusting company will be funded by the taxpayers.
      Jason Krumvieda
      • 7 Months Ago
      GM can suck it in my opinion. They knew and did nothing about it so I won't ever buy one of their cars.
      Jerry
      • 7 Months Ago
      An empty gesture until they fire and prosecute the folks who skirted company policy and engineering ethics 101 to put and keep these switches in production.
        Jerry
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Jerry
        Paid leave is kind of the opposite of what should be happening. Oh hey, you f'ed up and it resulted in deaths? Want a paid vacation?
          Bexly
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Jerry
          Or, you know, paid administrative leave and then termination and repaying that money if found guilty. Firing anyone accused of something is indescribably dumb, only fire if found guilty or there is obvious evidence of their guilt.
      Quest
      • 7 Months Ago
      Settling with the families of the those killed and injured is the right thing to do - period! They should also setup a trust fund for future claimants. If GM does both, which I think they're leaning, it would go a long way in the court of public opinion. For the cynical, it's also relatively cheap to do. If GM get out this with total cost of less than $3 Billion they should be thankful - never again!
      bethany.omalley
      • 7 Months Ago
      What a messed up ordeal. The "OLD McDonalds" never put apple slices in their Happy Meals but the "NEW McDonalds" do. So can people (young adults now) still try and sue the "Old McDonalds" for making them fat as a kid or is McDonalds protected now because you get apple slices in their Happy Meals and people can't confirm when the date was that this started happening?
        bootsnchaps60
        • 7 Months Ago
        @bethany.omalley
        Whatever point you tried and failed to make with the McDonalds analogy, there was the possibility that GM could have only taken responsibility for the "new GM" not the "old GM", and not anything that occured prior to 2009. That they'll work with any claims from accidents and actual provable damages-and not potential value loss-is a good public relations move. Will they learn from this? Hard to say, since Daewoo seems to remain the cheap division, Opel is troubled, and GM sees big bucks in China.
      Alfonso T. Alvarez
      • 7 Months Ago
      " ... 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." ... " Nonsense - don't you people who work for Autoblog even research stories before posting?? They never said they would not settle with those injured or killed - what they do not want to do is deal with the shyster lawyers who are trying to sue for lost value on the vehicles AND lost value on the stock. NEITHER OF WHICH IS HAPPENING!!
      ItMe George
      • 7 Months Ago
      Now I can buy a GM car again that GM is settling with the families, But if GM ever try's to hide some thing like this again I will never buy a car from them again.
      churchmotor
      • 7 Months Ago
      Buying from GM is like marrying an Islamic Child rapist.
      redgpgtp97
      • 7 Months Ago
      27 Billion dollars on hand, more than enough to make things right. Well they will never be able to make things right for no amount of money can make up for one's life. Loved ones were lost due to human error people's lives have been changed forever and it's just tragic. But some accountability will hopefully ease the pain these families are feeling.
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