Nearly 40 lawyers from all over the United States gathered in Manhattan yesterday for a chance to apply for one of the 15 lead spots in litigation against General Motors for a faulty ignition switch that lead to 13 deaths and the recall of millions of small cars.
The lawyers waited for hours to pitch a four-minute spiel to U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman who is overseeing the litigation. The consolidated lawsuit consists of 109 cases for both personal injuries claims and loss of vehicle value.
Reuters reports some well-known lawyers applied to represent plaintiffs in the case. Among them is Jospeh Rice, who most notably represented plaintiffs in mass litigation over the 2010 BP oil spill. Also looking for a spot were lawyers who led litigation against Toyota for its unintended acceleration issues in 2010. Three of these lawyers, Steve Berman, Elizabeth Cabraser and Mark Robinson, are already serving as a temporary counsel in the GM cases.
Berman told Reuters his experience in the Toyota cases, which led to the automaker settling the claims in a $1.6 billion deal, will be invaluable as they go forward with the GM litigation.
“I spent two and a half years of my life dealing with the issues (in Toyota) that we’ll deal with here,” he said to Furman.
Reuters says decision in regards to the lawyers will be made before the end of the week.