U.S. District Court Judge Jesse M. Furman is trying to get settlements in lawsuits filed for about 1,000 plaintiffs against General Motors in response to faulty ignition switches.
As he outlined his strategy this week, Furman said that he will avoid interfering with the case now before a bankruptcy judge, Robert Gerber, who is considering the role of economic damages. “I’m also going to be very sensitive about stepping on the toes of Judge Gerber and the bankruptcy proceedings,” Furman said. Furman was the judge selected to hear over 100 lawsuits that were sent to his New York courtroom.
GM has recalled almost 29 million cars in North America for varied safety reasons, and when it comes to the ignition system defect, it was associated with the deaths of at least 13 people. Plaintiffs’ lawyers say the number of deaths is more than 60.
GM is setting aside $600 million to pay for claims related to injuries and deaths associated with the faulty ignition system. The company has set up a compensation plan to be administered by Attorney Kenneth Feinberg, InsideCounsel reported.