According to Reuters, U.S. District Judge Paul Borman ruled this week that the new evidence GM presented in its case against FCA was “too speculative to warrant reopening this case.”
GM attempted to reinstate its lawsuit against FCA by naming several individuals who were supposedly directly involved with FCA’s alleged corruption-related misdeeds. Among the people named as part of GM’s new evidence was former UAW vice president Joe Ashton, who GM accused of being a “paid mole” on its board of directors that was secretly working for FCA.
FCA took the opportunity to reiterate its stance that GM’s claims are without merit in a statement released this week.
“Judge Borman’s ruling this morning once again confirms what we have said from the beginning — that GM’s lawsuit is meritless — and its attempt to submit an amended complaint under the guise of asking the court to change its mind was nothing more than a baseless attempt to smear a competitor that is winning in the marketplace,” an FCA spokesperson said.
General Motors isn’t giving up, though. It plans to appeal the ruling and once again referenced the FBI’s ongoing investigation into the UAW as evidence of FCA’s corruption.
“Today’s decision is disappointing, as the corruption in this case is proven given the many guilty pleas from the ongoing federal investigation,” a GM spokesperson said. “GM’s suit will continue – we will not accept corruption.”
GM first filed suit against FCA last year, alleging the automaker corrupted the bargaining process with the UAW by offering bribes to secure a better labor deal than GM. The automaker also says FCA did this with the specific intent of weakening General Motors’ business to the point where it would be forced to enter a merger with FCA – something former CEO Sergio Marchionne had outwardly sought in the past.
Borman threw the case out in July, but GM then filed to have it reinstated after bringing forth new evidence. In addition to naming several individuals allegedly involved in the corruption, GM’s suit also listed several countries where FCA supposedly had offshore accounts to wire funds to those it was apparently conspiring with. In response to these allegations, FCA said its ownership of foreign accounts was “unremarkable, and certainly not illegal,” given that it’s an Italian-American company.
FCA alluded that GM may have filed suit against it in order to prevent it from merging with French automaker Groupe PSA. FCA’s merger with the French automotive conglomerate is expected to be complete by the first quarter of 2021.