GM Is Rejected by U.S. Supreme Court and Left to Face Ignition Claims - ABI

The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for General Motors Co. to potentially face billions of dollars in legal claims over a deadly ignition-switch defect, turning away the carmaker’s appeal in a clash connected to its 2009 bankruptcy sale, Bloomberg News reported yesterday. The justices, without comment, left intact a federal appeals court ruling that said the bankruptcy accord didn’t block GM from lawsuits over accidents that happened before the sale or claims that the flaw caused vehicles to lose value. Plaintiffs’ lawyers have estimated that claims against the company may total as much as $10 billion. The Supreme Court’s action is a setback for GM Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra, whose first year in the job was consumed by the ignition flaw linked to at least 124 deaths and recalls of 2.59 million vehicles. The Supreme Court’s decision creates a small risk that GM will have to reach a legal settlement that could interfere with paying out its dividend or buying back stock, said David Whiston, a Morningstar Inc. analyst.

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