The legal drama between General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) continues, with new evidence prompting GM to reinstate a lawsuit against FCA that was previously dismissed.
In a racketeering case filed last November, General Motors accused former FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne of a bribery scheme with United Auto Workers (UAW) labor union leaders to gain unfair contract advantages, and eventually pressure GM into a merger. U.S. District Judge Paul Borman dismissed the case with prejudice last month. However, according to a recent report from Automotive News, new evidence has prompted GM to once again pursue its case against FCA.
“New facts about the direct harm FCA caused GM have come to light and they are detailed in our amended racketeering complaint,” General Motors said in a statement. “These new facts warrant amending the court’s prior judgement, so we are respectfully asking the court to reinstate the case.”
FCA responded with a statement of its own, saying, “As we have said from the date the original lawsuit was filed, it is meritless. The court agreed and dismissed GM’s complaint with prejudice. FCA will continue to defend itself vigorously and pursue all available remedies in response to GM’s attempts to resurrect this groundless lawsuit.”
The new amended complaint from General Motors accuses FCA of using a network of foreign bank accounts to funnel millions of dollars to pay off individuals gathering sensitive corporate information about GM and its labor strategy.
Those accused include Alphons Iacobelli, who joined GM in 2016 after resigning from FCA. GM says Iacobelli provided FCA with GM’s confidential labor strategy information. Iacobelli is currently serving a five-and-a-half-year sentence in federal prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to violate the Labor Management Relations Act and filing a false tax return. However, the filing says that Iacobelli continued to protect FCA executives even after agreeing to cooperate with the criminal investigation.
Joe Ashton, who served as vice president of the UAW-GM department, is also named, with the filing accusing Ashton of sharing confidential information with the UAW and FCA.
Two former UAW presidents, including Dennis Williams and Ron Gettelfinger, are also named in the amended complaint.