The Truth About Cars » Litigation http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Mon, 04 Aug 2014 15:16:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Litigation http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Feinberg Plan To Be Funded Out-Of-Pocket By GM http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/feinberg-plan-to-be-funded-out-of-pocket-by-gm/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/feinberg-plan-to-be-funded-out-of-pocket-by-gm/#comments Thu, 10 Jul 2014 11:00:46 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=862929 Kenneth Feinberg’s victim compensation plan for those severely affected by the ignition switch linked to 13 fatalities, 54 accidents and a recall of 2.6 million vehicles will not be funded by liability insurance, according to General Motors director of financial communications David Roman. Automotive News reports the no-cap fund will be paid “through cash on […]

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Recalled GM ignition switch

Kenneth Feinberg’s victim compensation plan for those severely affected by the ignition switch linked to 13 fatalities, 54 accidents and a recall of 2.6 million vehicles will not be funded by liability insurance, according to General Motors director of financial communications David Roman.

Automotive News reports the no-cap fund will be paid “through cash on hand,” which could amount to at least as much as $1 million per claim. Nir Kossovsky, CEO of Pitsburgh, Penn.-based Steel City Re, states that although this strategy will prove expensive, “it beats the alternative” of litigation as far as restoring reputation is concerned.

However, litigation will be the rule of the day for the automaker. One of the attorneys involved, Jere Beasley of Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles PC in Montgomery, Ala. says he has been contacted by 300 people alone in June wanting to pursue a lawsuit. He adds that while the compensation plan is mostly sound, Beasley takes issue with Feinberg’s sole authority over how claims will be handled, as well as the heavy burden of proof placed upon the claimants.

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Akerson Claims No Knowledge Of Ignition Switch Issues During GM Tenure http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/akerson-claims-no-knowledge-of-ignition-switch-issues-during-gm-tenure/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/akerson-claims-no-knowledge-of-ignition-switch-issues-during-gm-tenure/#comments Mon, 02 Jun 2014 12:00:22 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=835585 Last week, the B&B learned from former General Motors CEO Dan Akerson that current CEO Mary Barra did not know about the ignition switch that has since given his old company a months-long headache. The B&B then asked if Akerson himself knew of the problem on his way to be at his wife’s side and […]

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Last week, the B&B learned from former General Motors CEO Dan Akerson that current CEO Mary Barra did not know about the ignition switch that has since given his old company a months-long headache. The B&B then asked if Akerson himself knew of the problem on his way to be at his wife’s side and that of his colleagues at The Carlyle Group.

Automotive News reports the answer is “No.” In a post on Forbes magazine’s blog, both he and GM chair Tim Solso claim they didn’t know about the ignition switch issues at the heart of the February 2014 recall of 2.6 million vehicles. Akerson stated that if he had known about the problem, Barra would have been made aware as he handed the reins of the automaker to her in late December 2013. Solso says he didn’t become aware until after Barra called him to let him know the bad news, having become a non-voting member of the board in the following January.

On the judicial front, Bloomberg says GM wants the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to handle every lawsuit related to the ignition switch recall, citing that the federal judge in Manhattan would be able to confer with U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Gerber — who handled the 2009 bankruptcy that separated the automaker from its old assets — throughout the litigation process. The request, made before the seven-member U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation in Chicago, was met with resistance by the 14 lawyers also in attendance. The group protested the idea that proximity to GM’s favored bankruptcy judge would be a benefit to their clients, with Rudy Gonzales of Corpus Christi, Texas firm Hilliard Munoz Gonzales LLP suggesting the district court in Texas would be the better venue.

Within the Beltway, GM asked another federal judge to keep confidential information related to its bankruptcy out of the hands of the Center for Auto Safety, who sued the U.S. Treasury in 2011 under the Freedom of Information Act for the records detailing where and how everything went wrong in the handling of the out-of-spec ignition switch. The automaker claims that it has a right to protect its “interests in its own business information” that it says goes above and beyond what it thinks the consumer-advocacy group has a right to request from it and the Treasury.

Finally, Automotive News reports Anton Valukas, the former U.S. attorney hired by GM to independently investigate the recall, has given his findings to the automaker for presentation this week. Barra reportedly informed Congress in April that she gave Valukas “free rein” to hunt down what he needed without roadblocks in the way. As a result, a number of questions regarding information suppression, collusion, and who knew what and when during the decade-plus period surrounding the switch will likely be answered in the lead-up to victim compensation, which is headed by attorney Kenneth Feinberg. The report itself could be in the size and scope of his report on the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, which came in at 2,200 pages.

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Federal Judge Rules Toyota Must Go to Trial in Camry Unexpected Acceleration Lawsuit http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/10/federal-judge-rules-toyota-must-go-to-trial-in-camry-unexpected-acceleration-lawsuit/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/10/federal-judge-rules-toyota-must-go-to-trial-in-camry-unexpected-acceleration-lawsuit/#comments Tue, 08 Oct 2013 18:52:03 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=615193 Toyota won two out of four of his decisions, but U.S. District Judge James Selna ruled that Toyota still must go to trial for an unexpected-acceleration case filed in federal court, according to a report by Bloomberg.   Judge Selna threw out manufacturing defect and negligence claims but affirmed his earlier tentative decision to allow […]

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Toyota won two out of four of his decisions, but U.S. District Judge James Selna ruled that Toyota still must go to trial for an unexpected-acceleration case filed in federal court, according to a report by Bloomberg.

 

Judge Selna threw out manufacturing defect and negligence claims but affirmed his earlier tentative decision to allow a claims based on alleged design defects and a failure by Toyota to warn Camry drivers about known dangers to proceed to trial. “Plaintiff has raised triable issues of fact that would allow a reasonable jury to find in his favor,” the judge said in his written ruling. In 2009, Ida Starr St. John, then 83 years old, was hurt when her 2005 Camry crashed. St. John has since died and her family is pursuing the litigation. This is the first personal injury and wrongful death case to go to trail over Toyota’s supposed unintended acceleration of those cases already consolidated in federal court.

The lawsuits were sparked by Toyota recalls in 2009 and 2010 and the company has already settled economic loss claims with a ~$1.6 billion agreement. St. John’s ’05 Camry was not subject to any of those recalls.

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Toyota, Lawyers, Court Agree on Settlement Over Depreciation Caused by Unintended Acceleration Recalls http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/07/toyota-lawyers-court-agree-on-settlement-over-depreciation-caused-by-unintended-acceleration-recalls/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/07/toyota-lawyers-court-agree-on-settlement-over-depreciation-caused-by-unintended-acceleration-recalls/#comments Mon, 22 Jul 2013 12:30:45 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=496451 A U.S. District Court judge gave final approval of the settlement of a lawsuit filed against Toyota on behalf of owners of Toyota vehicles who claimed that the car maker’s recalls related to unintended acceleration caused their cars to depreciate in value.   Toyota recalled over 10 million vehicles around the world in 2009-2010 to […]

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A U.S. District Court judge gave final approval of the settlement of a lawsuit filed against Toyota on behalf of owners of Toyota vehicles who claimed that the car maker’s recalls related to unintended acceleration caused their cars to depreciate in value.

 

Toyota recalled over 10 million vehicles around the world in 2009-2010 to check for sticky throttle pedals and out of position floor mats. The cash payout for Toyota to settle the economic-loss action will be close to a billion dollars, with individual payments ranging from $9.74 to $10,000, depending on what Toyota model, and whether it was bought, leased or rented, a total of $757 million. Plaintiff attorneys in the class action lawsuit will get another $227 million in fees and costs, and Toyota will retrofit, at no charge, some car models with brake override systems. The retrofit and other non-monetary benefits are valued at $875 million. In Tokyo, Toyota announced that the company will be taking a one-time $1.1 billion charge to cover the costs.

All of the lawyers involved seemed pleased with the settlement. U.S. District Judge James V. Selna, said during the final hearing, “I reaffirm my conclusion that this settlement is fair, adequate and reasonable. I find this settlement to be extraordinary because every single dollar in the cash fund will go to claimants.” That must mean that the plaintiff attorneys were paid from a different fund of cash.

One of those attorneys, Steve Berman, of the Hagens Berman firm which just last week filed a proposed class action suit in federal court against Ford over glitches in the MyFordTouch control and infotainment system, said that in regard to the Toyota suit, “Those people who submitted claims are getting 100 percent of their claims in this settlement.”

Toyota’s lawyer was happy as well. “This settlement is focused on getting the maximum amount to our customers,” John P. Hooper said. Though he said he was confident that Toyota would have won at trial, he said the company settled because it was “trying to find a resolution that would be of value to Toyota customers and put this litigation behind us.”

This lawsuit is unrelated to the property damage, personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits filed in connection with alleged sudden unintended acceleration by Toyota vehicles.

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