MIxed News For Victims Of GM Product Liability Cases

Product liability suits, especially those involving autos and trucks, generally involve life altering injuries and death. As a result of the recent bankruptcy of General Motors Corp., many of the pending and future claims involving GM products stood to be wiped out, leaving the victims with no recourse against the manufacturer. As part of its government-backed restructuring plan, GM wants to sell the bulk of its assets to a new company and leave behind unprofitable assets and other liabilities such as product-related lawsuits.
Many of these victims would have to turn to public assistance for needed medical services. The taxpayer would be left to fund these items.
Consumer groups, several state’s attorney generals, and several individuals with pending claims against objected. Now, as part of a deal brokered by the current Administration, GM has agreed to take on responsibility for future product liability claims. In a concession to the consumer groups and state officials who had threatened to block the sale because of product liability concerns, the new company will now assume responsibility for future claims involving vehicles made by the old company, according to documents filed in federal bankruptcy court in last Friday. A hearing on the proposed sale of assets is scheduled for tomorrow.
Under the previous plan, the new GM would not have assumed any liability for future claims related to GM vehicles made before the sale and creation of the new company. That meant that consumers who wanted to file a lawsuit related to a defective GM vehicle would have had to seek compensation from old GM. However, the old GM will most likely consist of unprofitable assets left over after the sale. In that case there would be nothing left to pay the claims.
Under the new proposed plan, the new company will not assume liability for already pending claims and those victims will still be forced to seek compensation from old GM.

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