Thursday, April 7, 2016

GM Settles 3rd Ignition-Switch Bellwether Before Trial - Law360

Pursuing a strategy of try the weak ones, settle the strong, GM has settled the third bellwether trial in the ignition defect litigation. The problem for plaintiffs lawyers is that a reasonable offer should be accepted, depriving them of the opportunity to show how powerful is their claims against GM on liability.- gwc

BREAKING: GM Settles 3rd Ignition-Switch Bellwether Before Trial - Law360

Law360, New York (April 7, 2016, 1:27 PM ET) -- General Motors has settled the third in a series of bellwether trials over an ignition-switch defect that could make cars stall and lose power while driving, a potential setback for remaining plaintiffs in the multidistrict litigation in New York.
In a letter to U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman, GM lawyers Richard Godfrey and Andrew Bloomer of Kirkland & Ellis LLP said Thursday that plaintiff Nadia Yingling has entered into a confidential term sheet and a final settlement is expected to follow soon.

Yingling's husband, James, died in December 2013 from injuries suffered in a car accident in Pennsylvania on his way to work, and she claims an out-of-place ignition key caused him to lose control of the vehicle.

The settlement is a setback for plaintiffs in the MDL as they try to gain leverage against GM in potential settlement negotiations and prove that the pool of remaining cases is strong.

Each side had chosen three trials in the six-bellwether process; one of the plaintiffs' choices ended abruptly without a verdict, one has now settled, and GM won another. That leaves three bellwethers to go, and two of them are GM's choices, meaning they'll likely be weaker cases overall.

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