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2 more suits against GM thrown out

By Bloomberg
Dec. 30, 2017 at 11:12 p.m.


Lawyers suing General Motor over its deadly ignition-switch defect may have overplayed their hand as a federal judge in New York threw out two more crucial test cases.

The plaintiffs failed to provide evidence that the specific type of flaw alleged to have occurred in two Texas car wrecks — a double rotation of the ignition switch — was anything more than a "theoretical possibility," U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman said in a ruling Thursday.

The decision in the so-called bellwether cases is likely to affect other suits making similar claims. Hundreds of cases remain pending over accidents linked to switches that could jostle into the off position — a flaw that GM has admitted to, but argues isn't to blame in the remaining suits. GM already paid almost $600 million to an out-of-court victims' compensation fund.

In the suits dismissed Thursday, the plaintiffs — like many others — alleged their ignition switches rotated off while they were driving, cutting power to steering and braking systems at critical moments. But unlike others, these plaintiffs claimed the switches rotated back to the "run" position a few seconds before impact, explaining why airbags were deployed.

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