The automaker, which has already paid more than $870 million in out-of-court settlements related to defective ignition switches, wants the Supreme Court to overturn a defective products verdict from a lower appeals court.
Previously, General Motors argued that the “old GM” was liable for damages, and once the company emerged from bankruptcy in 2009, the “new GM” was a different company and therefore not responsible for previous acts of negligence. However, appeals court judges did not agree, instead ruling that the “new GM” was not substantially different from the “old GM” and company executives knew about the defective products. Undaunted, GM maintains that bankruptcy laws allowed it to shed previous liabilities, and that includes negligence lawsuits.
Unless the Supreme Court overturns the lower court’s verdict, roughly 130 cases will continue to move forward through the system.