Purposes of Tort Law Missed by Judge in GM Ignition Switch Coverup

Purposes of Tort Law Missed by Judge in GM Ignition Switch Coverup

November, 2015

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

Ralph Nader describes three purposes of Tort Law:“the three purposes of tort law. One is to compensate people for their injuries; the second is to disclose facts so the press picks up and publicizes the story alerting people about what to avoid, how to shop, and what their rights are; and the third is deterrence so other companies or other providers or vendors get the idea that maybe it’s better—and cheaper—to be safe than unsafe with your customers.”  Seehttp://parade.com/439904/m-b-roberts/ralph-nader-on-lawsuits-you-never-have-enough-cases/

An Insurance Journal article describes a ruling by Judge Furman as follows:

“General Motors Co. and its law firm need not turn over privileged documents to drivers hoping to show that the automaker intended to commit a crime or fraud by concealing defective ignition switches in their vehicles, a Manhattan federal judge ruled on Nov. 25.

Despite finding “probable cause” to believe GM committed a crime or fraud by hiding the defect from regulators and the public, U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman found no showing that the automaker and King & Spalding produced the documents with an intent to further such misconduct.

Most of the documents related to the law firm’s advice from 2010 to 2013 on three crashes involving Chevrolet Cobalts. Vehicle owners said the deception justified a waiver of attorney-client privilege.

“Put simply, plaintiffs do not provide a factual basis for a good faith belief that the communications and work product they seek – let alone any particular communications or work product they seek – were made with the intent to further a crime or fraud,” Furman wrote.”  Seehttp://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2015/11/30/390286.htm

You be the judge.  Did Judge Furman meet the three tests?  Compensation?  Disclosure?  Deterrence?

Who is Judge Furman? 

“Furman’s brother Jason Furman serves as an economic adviser to President Barack Obama.[5]”

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesse_M._Furman

Should Judge Furman have ruled differently for crash victims past, present, and future?  Will there be more victims?  Less compensation?  Less deterrence?

You be the Jury in the Court of Public Opinion.


Leave a Reply