Friday, June 27, 2014

The TOYOTA-GM Connection

GM Ignition Judge Names Lead Lawyers From Toyota Cases

June 26, 2014
The lead attorneys in lawsuits against Toyota Motor Corp. (TM:US) over sudden acceleration will take temporary charge of claims of alleged economic loss from General Motors (GM:US) vehicles that were recalled because of ignition-switch defects.

Steve W. Berman, Elizabeth Cabraser and Mark P. Robinson Jr., who helped arrange a $1.6 billion settlement with Toyota over lost vehicle value, will “initiate the process” in the GM litigation, U.S. District Judge Jesse M. Furman in Manhattan said in a June 24 order.

“These temporary designations are not a precursor of future appointments,” Furman said.

General Motors has recalled 2.59 million compact cars with potentially faulty ignition switches linked to at least 13 deaths. Customers have filed at least 87 proposed class actions seeking reimbursement for lost value of the recalled vehicles.

The suits are combined before Furman’s Manhattan court in a multidistrict proceeding that will address pretrial matters including evidence gathering. Furman set an initial conference to organize the suits for Aug. 11.

The case is In Re General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation, 14-md-2543, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

To contact the reporter on this story: Margaret Cronin Fisk in Detroit at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at Andrew Dunn, Joe Schneider