By on June 11, 2013

When Spyker sued GM for mucking with Saab’s failed deal with Youngman, and wanted $3 billion for its trouble, TTAC’s resident garage lawyers did not give Spyker big odds.

Yesterday, the suit was thrown out.

A U.S. federal judge said the GM had the right to block the sale of a company using its technology, Reuters reports. Said U.S. District Court Judge Gershwin Drain said in a hearing in Detroit:

“General Motors had a contractual right to approve or disapprove the proposed transaction. The court is going to grant the motion to dismiss the matter.”

Spyker Chief Victor Muller was in the court room. He did not want to say whether he would appeal. “We will be awaiting the written order and then we will assess,” Muller told Reuters.

The allegedly aggrieved entity was Saab and not Spyker. Saab went bankrupt, and its assets were bought by a murky Chinese entity. Spyker acquired the rights to sue GM. As usual, Muller did not use his own money. Back then, a Spyker press release said:

“Spyker has secured the financial backing required to see the lawsuit through to the end from a third party investor.”

More money down the drain.

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10 Comments on “U.S. Court Shoots Down Saab Suit Against GM...”

  • avatar

    This is what happens when tort lawyers are given a pen and paper, they write down the biggest number they can think of and call it fair damages.

    • 0 avatar×250/19429631.jpg

    • 0 avatar

      GS650G’s statement on damages has no real basis in the law — you must be able to present a method to calculate damages. Punitive damages also generally have a limit in most jurisdictions, and you must be able to show your case for that too.

      The peanut gallery on TTAC likes to mention plaintiff’s lawyers or tort suits with derision, but they’re really speaking ideologically, rather than based on facts. The Bureau of Justice Statistics has a report from 2005 that says the following:

      ::*In the nation’s 75 most populous counties, the number of tort trials declined by about a third between 1996 and 2005.::

      Note that only 4% of cases actually went to trial — most are dismissed, and many more settle. Most of them have extremely low payouts — half of plaintiffs win, and the median payout is about $24K.


      In the real world, 60% of these trials are for auto accidents and the 2/3 of those trials for auto accidents involve individuals suing individuals.

      Even for med mal cases, there’s no evidence that actual payouts have been increasing. In fact, if you adjust for inflation, they’re probably down and are not what’s driving healthcare costs up. Yet the ideologues still mention it as a factor for some reason…

  • avatar
    Pastor Glenn

    More money down the drain sums up my (and many people’s) experiences with owning Saabs. Which may go a long way towards explaining why they are no longer around.

    While technically interesting, the Saab 99 I bought used over 20 years ago became the first car I’d ever had with destroyed its own engine. While I had young children. On the wrong side of the country from home. On vacation.

    I considered the company a manufacturer of “amateur-mobiles” after that and nothing ever changed my mind.

    Then my sister, who loved Volvos, got to that certain age in life where she wanted a red turbo Volvo. Most-problematic-car-she-ever-had.
    She bought a Subaru after that and is perfectly satisfied.

    It’s interesting to note that Volvo’s sales are way down – seemingly in a death-spiral in this country, isn’t it? Probably not a coincidence, if my sister’s FWD Volvo was anything like typical.

    • 0 avatar

      While I’m sure your experience was abysmal, I’ve met a lot more people who turned their back on GM, than I ever heard turn against SAAB. Subaru is a good alternate though.

  • avatar

    Where’s VoltsonFire? I want to know if I can use his avatar for an album cover for my new punk rock band.

    I don’t have the disposed/source of sales data directly on hand at the moment, but I think it is obvious that a lot of Saab and Volvo customers moved into Subarus. Actually, without them, Subaru might have died in the US, too.

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