The struggle is on to decide where to hear the US district court cases relating to General Motors ignition switch recall. The automaker already paid a $35 million fine to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over its poor handling of the situation, and it agreed to additional oversight by the regulator. However, it still has the civil cases to deal with.
The first step to dealing with them is consolidating the cases into a single court, and the US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation in Chicago is deciding the location for that now. The two most likely sites are New York and Santa Ana, CA. According to Automotive News, GM's lawyers argue that the Manhattan court is the best place because it's near the bankruptcy court for Old GM. Attorneys for the plaintiffs don't think this matters and want the California court where the unintended acceleration cases from Toyota are being heard. A decision is expected within a week.
The judgment would only affect the economic loss claims against the company, but the question still looms how far these cases can go. While GM is reportedly facing $10 billion in lawsuits, a judge could decide it's a matter for the bankrupt Old GM and save the current business from paying for it.
There also continue to be claims of more deaths caused by the faulty switches, but so far there is no proof showing more than 13. According to Automotive News, one of the attorneys even alleges 60 fatalities related to the recall but so far without any verification. Acting NHTSA boss David Friedman believes there could be more as well. The death and bodily injury claims against GM are being negotiated separately.