General Motors has several lawsuits filed against them in Texas in regards to the ignition switch recall. The automaker and its Delphi supplier have asked the Supreme Court of Texas to transfer those cases to a “multi-district litigation panel” in order to “consolidate and coordinate pre-trials.”
The Detroit News reports that General Motors expects additional lawsuits to be filed, so streamlining the process is of interest to all parties. “Litigating each of these matters separately will involve enormous time and expense,” stated both companies in the filing.
“As we state in our filing: ‘Absent transfer to a single judge, defendants may face the burden of producing some of the same witnesses and documents in separate proceedings governed by different, and possibly conflicting, pretrial rulings,’” General Motors spokesman Greg Martin said in a statement. “‘…This waste of resources of the parties, their counsel and the judiciary is unnecessary. The appointment of a single pretrial judge to hear common pretrial issues will facilitate the uniform and fair resolution of the ignition switch actions, and will promote the just and efficient conduct of those actions.’”
However, in one of the lawsuits, Texas attorney Bob Hilliard wants to depose Michael Millikin, the general counsel for General Motors. He feels the request by GM and Delphi a delay tactic. “As soon as I ask for GM to make its general counsel (Millikin) immediately available for deposition to get to the bottom of this coverup and to hopefully shed some light on the issue of whether and for how long GM’s legal department delayed immediate and forthright disclosure of the defect so as to buy more time to circle the wagons, GM delays the litigation,” Hilliard said in a statement.