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Ralph Nader > Opinions/Editorials > The Decision in the General Motors Bankruptcy Case

Statement of Ralph Nader

Today’s court ruling that has granted General Motors (GM) a legal shield from lawsuits involving billions of dollars stemming from the company’s decade of cover-ups regarding its faulty ignition switches is another outrageous chapter in the mismanagement of its 2009 bankruptcy and restructuring. Under this ruling, “New GM” is not liable for the grossly negligent actions of “Old GM.” The last estimated value of “Old GM” – now a shell company – is about $9.25 billion in assets and faces about $32 billion in claims.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Gerber has done a great disservice to justice by blocking victims and their families from having their rightful day in court to challenge GM’s corporate malfeasance.

This disturbing outcome could have been prevented had the Obama administration defended the rights of those injured by GM’s faulty vehicles. The federal government failed to responsibly exercise its majority stock ownership rights by establishing successorship liability for “New GM”.

The government should have used its power as a majority stockholder to ensure that those harmed by GM’s defective automobiles could have access to redress through the civil justice system.

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