US District Judge Jesse Furman didn't accept General Motor's attempt to dismiss a civil trial over the automaker's faulty ignition switches, and set a January 11 start date for the case to begin, according to Reuters.

The judge found that plaintiff Robert Scheuer had the evidence to proceed with the case. Scheuer was injured in an accident in his 2003 Saturn Ion in 2014 when another vehicle forced him off the road, and he crashed into some trees. The airbag didn't deploy, and Scheuer alleged this was the result of the faulty ignition switch.

According to Reuters, Scheuer's trial is one of six bellwether cases over GM's ignition switch problem in the coming year. Juries' decisions in these lawsuits should provide an example of how similar trials could end, and these results would help The General decide whether to settle other pending cases or to keep fighting them.

The ignition switch fiasco has already cost GM billions. For example, the company's compensation program offered $594.5 million in 399 cases of people killed or injured by the defective parts. Anyone that accepted this money agreed not to sue GM for the problem later. The company also came to a $900 million criminal settlement with the US government and paid $575 million in civil resolutions in September.

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