General Motors is once again looking to have the judge’s decision overturned in its ongoing legal row with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
U.S. District Judge Paul Borman dismissed GM’s attempt to reinstate its racketeering lawsuit against FCA last week, saying the new evidence the automaker presented was “too speculative,” to warrant reopening the case. Borman previously dismissed GM’s suit against FCA, saying the automaker had not violated federal racketeering laws and that the parties most harmed by the FCA/UAW bribery scheme were in fact lower FCA employees. General Motors then attempted to have the case reinstated, presenting new evidence and naming several UAW officials that were apparently directly involved in the supposed corruption scheme. This included former UAW vice president Joe Ashton, who GM accused of being a “paid mole” on its board secretly working for FCA.
Now, according to The Detroit Free Press, GM has filed a notice of its expected appeal to reinstate the racketeering lawsuit. The automaker’s case against FCA has largely relied on the fact that the FBI is already conducting an investigation into the UAW over corruption, which has resulted in several top UAW officials being charged. When Borman dismissed its motion to have the case reinstated last week, GM said the decision was “disappointing, as the corruption in this case is proven given the many guilty pleas from the ongoing federal investigation.” The automaker also pledged that it will keep pursuing legal action against FCA, as it “will not accept corruption,” in the automotive industry.
GM has also tried to get Borman removed from the case. After Borman dismissed the suit and ordered General Motors CEO Mary Barra and FCA CEO Mike Manley to meet and come to a resolution over the matter, GM retaliated, asking for Borman to be removed and calling his ruling a “profound abuse,” of power. Borman also said that allowing the suit to proceed amid a global pandemic would be a waste of the court’s time and resources and declared GM’s decision to pursue FCA legally a “nuclear option.”
“The court possesses no authority to order the CEOs of GM and FCA to engage in settlement discussions, reach a resolution and then appear alone at a pretrial conference eight days later, without counsel,” GM’s attorneys said. “Second, the court has no business labeling a properly filed federal lawsuit assigned to the court for impartial adjudication ‘a distraction’ or a ‘nuclear option.'”
FCA has alluded that GM’s lawsuit is an attempt to prevent it from merging with French automotive conglomerate Groupe PSA and claimed it is “nothing more than a baseless attempt to smear a competitor that is winning in the marketplace.” FCA’s merger with Groupe PSA is expected to be complete by early 2021.