Monday, July 13, 2009

Chrysler, GM Avoid Product Liability

As discussed in the Los Angeles Times and elsewhere, "Plaintiffs' lawyers tried unsuccessfully to have the new automakers that emerged from bankruptcy held liable for damages caused by their predecessors' products. They won a partial victory with GM, but both companies will shed liability for most claims." For people "who allege they were injured by defective cars, that's a grim prospect."

As a result, some attorneys are changing focus of their product liability cases, targeting dealers and suppliers because of the automakers' immunity. Bloomberg News reported, "General Motors Corp. and Chrysler Group LLC dealers and suppliers ... are becoming targets of product-liability lawsuits in the wake of the automakers' bankruptcies. Accident victims' lawyers in California, Texas, Ohio, South Carolina, Missouri and Colorado have sued dealers and parts- makers on finding that GM and Chrysler are shielded from litigation by bankruptcy law. The attorneys say they have no other way to seek compensation for some clients.

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